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SOS Africa Awarded Grant to Build Classrooms and Renovate Toilet Blocks at Partnering Western Cape School
11 Jun 2020
The SOS Africa Charity is delighted to announce that it has secured funding from the Mordaunt Foundation which will enable it to carry out vital building and renovation projects at partnering school, St Michael’s Primary in Elgin.
St Michael's Staff & Students Celebrate the Opening of the Toilet Blocks
With large class sizes and limited teaching spaces, for some time St Michael’s School Principal Rehard Smith had been looking to expand the numbers of classrooms and renovate the school’s ageing toilet blocks. As well as significantly improving the quality of education and care available to the students, these initiatives will also assist hygiene and social distancing measures which are essential in response to the Corona Virus Pandemic.
The SOS Africa Staff and Children at St Michael's Primary School, Elgin
After the successes of previous renovation collaborations, SOS Africa recently approached the Mordaunt Foundation in the hope of securing funding for one of these important projects. Within weeks the charity was delighted to receive the news that the Foundation Trustees had agreed to fully-fund both initiatives with immediate effect:
“Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to be able to give Sharon Mordaunt a tour of the school campus and were delighted with her enthusiasm and eagerness to help us address the school’s two biggest challenges, sanitation and teaching space.” (Matt Crowcombe - CEO, SOS Africa)
With the school due to re-open after the easing of lockdown measures, the SOS Africa staff wasted no time in putting plans in place to completely renovate the existing sanitation facilities. With damaged asbestos roofing, broken toilets and leaking pipes, both toilet blocks would require complete renovation. Building work commenced on the 8th May and in less than a month, work on both blocks had been completed, just in time for the re-opening of the school this week. The new facilities even include a toilet and shower for the SOS Africa staff and children, and the building's white walls will provide the ideal blank canvas for SOS Africa’s art classes when they resume this term.
It was a proud moment for Principal Rehard Smith when his students cut the ribbon at the opening of the new facilities earlier this week:
“It is hard to find the words to describe the difference the new toilets and classrooms will make to our school – the toilets provide clean, hygienic facilities to ensure handwashing and allow our learners and educators dignity which is important for their self-esteem and well-being. Without the new classrooms we cannot begin to provide learners and educators the space required for social distancing and an environment within which to learn, develop and grow.”
The second project is also well underway with the delivery of the new classrooms and exterior building work due for completion later this month. Once finished, the new classrooms will enable the school to divide its two largest class sizes, significantly increased the standard of education available to students in those grades.
“I salute SOS Africa, Sharon and her team, KwikSpace, JP Builders and all those involved for creating this wonderful opportunity for our children.” (Rehard Smith – Principal, St Michael’s Primary School)
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