There was great excitement in Hangberg on Thursday November 17 as non-profit organisation Breadline Africa unveiled four new container classrooms for the 60 children who attend Little Angels pre-school.
Sponsored by The Dermot Gogarty Memorial Trust, the four classrooms offer a safe, warm and dry haven for the children, many of whom come from impoverished circumstances.
Little Angels’ founder Liezl Mathews started the pre-school in 2010 to put a stop to the number of small children she saw on the streets, vulnerable to the many social ills in the area, most notably drug abuse.
Many of the parents who send their children to the facility are unable to pay fees, but Ms Mathews believes all children deserve a good start in life, and, through the generosity of donors and supporters, she is able to provide a place for the children to learn every day.
The children receive a daily meal, love, support and the building of a basic education foundation.
Breadline Africa’s interim director, Marion Wagner, said: “We are delighted to hand over these four classroom containers that form the final elements of the refurbished Little Angels Daycare Centre. Our relationship with the school, and its founder, Liezl, started more than a year ago and we are thrilled to
see all of our plans coming to fruition.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the generous donors of the classrooms, in particular, Kathy Gogarty who raised funds through The Dermot Gogarty Memorial Trust. Without the commitment of benefactors such as these, we would be unable to complete projects like Little Angels.”
Last year the Oceana Group funded a container kitchen, and donors from the UK, Netherlands and Ireland funded the toilet container, which replaced unstable portable toilets.
Ms Wagner also thanked Hout Bay Rotary and All Out Africa volunteers – one of whom also contributed funds to the project.
“At the heart of Little Angels stands Liezl Mathews, and credit goes to her for making this such a successful ECD centre,” said Ms Wagner.
“Originally, we had intended to place only three containers, but given the problems with location of the site, and the fact that government regulations stipulate that classroom space requires 1.5m2 per child; with 60 to 70 children, three containers would be insufficient.”
Ms Mathews paid tribute to all those who had supported her, especially her father, who celebrated his 73rd birthday on the same day as the handover. She said it meant a lot to her that he had cut the ribbon around the containers.
The children dressed up in a variety of different costumes and performed several dances and pinned to the table was a beautiful banner they had made thanking The Dermot Gogarty Memorial Trust.