Church donation to be used for pre-school’s new admin office

Siyazama Educare Centre in New Rest informal settlement celebrated their quarterly birthday on Thursday, March 30.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Nontuthuzelo Sokuyeka, a teacher at the crèche helps with cutting the cake for the pre-schoolers at Siyazama Educare Centre. Picture: FAITH QINGA

The pre-school hosted this combined birthday party to celebrate 21 children whose birthdays fall from January to March.

Siyazama principal, Bulelwa Puwe expressed her gratitude to the parents who contributed towards the party packs and decorations and a special thanks to Nemato SPAR who donated the big birthday cake.  

The pre-school was also happy to announce that new admin offices would be built thanks to a donation from the Wesley Methodist Church. The funds were used to buy 400 building bricks, 390 foundation bricks and six cubes of mixed sand and stones. The church allocates a portion of their annual income to deserving local causes identified by members and the leadership group. 

Jo Rice, of the Wesley Methodist Church, said they had been supporting the pre-school since its inception.  “We at the Wesley Methodist Church have been giving monetary and other support to this centre over the years dating back almost to its start in 2004.  With education being central to the broad mission of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa it is one of the four or five local NGOs that receive our help annually,” she said.  

The Wesley Church is a member of the Bathurst and Port Alfred Circuit which comprises eight churches and a few preaching venues. Each carries out its own mission in its area.

“I have seen this little school grow in leaps and bounds, not only in numbers but also in what the school is offering to the children in their care under the leadership of Mrs Bulelwa Puwe and her staff since the beginning of last year,” Rice said. “The willingness they show in making things happen – with or without help from outside – is an example to all. The plan to tear down their old office which has now become a dangerous structure and build a new office is evidence of this get up and go attitude,” added Rice. 

The crèche received an additional R8400 donation from Stenden SA students. They used this to buy more building materials, including brick force, lintel concrete and cement.

The Community Development Manager at Stenden SA, Mzameli Dikeni said the students’ donation was a fundraising effort made possible by visiting students from the main campus in Holland. “In February 2023, Stenden SA had a visit by students from Denmark, who contributed to the fundraising, together with former students who are based in Holland,” he said. 

Puwe told TOTT that Stenden students visit the crèche weekly and assist with teaching the kids, feeding them and doing some fun activities. The current students are planning to fundraise to buy a laptop and a printer for use at the pre-school. “The students we currently have at Siyazama are following a course called Social Entrepreneurship and are working with Mrs P on strategies she can use to market the great work she is doing at the Centre and in return get more supporters for the Centre,” explained Dikeni. 

The bottle house office was also donated by Stenden SA students back in 2012 through their community engagement efforts that focus on education and hunger solutions.

UNIQUE STRUCTURE: The old bottle-house office that was built in 2012 with donations made by Stenden SA students. Picture: FAITH QINGA

“In 2012 during big rains that caused flooding and damages in PA, Siyazama had a mud house that was damaged, our art students together with the community came up with the idea to build with what the community has, that’s how the Bottle house came about,” said Dikeni added.  

The demolition of the old block and construction of the new admin office started in the first week of April.