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Project Partnership between The F.B Coales Charitable Trust and Khanyisela (Northern Drakensberg Projects)

Amidst the majesty of the Drakensberg Mountains, a World Heritage Site in South Africa, are rural areas of incredible poverty. Parents having to work relatively far from home and including extensive travel times.

The Creche’s and Pre-schools are integral to the welfare, safety, and initial introduction to learning for many toddlers and young children.

The F.B Coales Trust through an already strong relationship by Winn and Coales (Denso) with Khanyisela looked to assist the dire needs and projects related to three of these Pre-Schools. These projects, now finalised, have changed the lives of the educators and children.

Mpumelelo Pre-school: Replacement of Toilet block

The destruction of the old unsafe pit toilets and building of new fit-for-purpose toilets, safely sized for the young children.

Listening to the educators and their thankfulness for this hugely impactful change, something many of us take for granted, was incredibly heartwarming.

Sivukile Pre-school: installation of classroom ceilings

The Northern Drakensberg has temperature ranges on between -5 degrees Celsius in winter to 35 degrees Celsius in summer. These ceilings, insulate in the winter, and maintain temperatures in summer. This allows children to be comfortable in their learning environment. The project completion has changed the look and feel of the classrooms, making it welcoming and a great place to spend the day as the children learn and play.

Little Flowers: New classroom

This Pre-school was started by an educator suffering from Polio, who in Covid, lost her income. She was determined to serve her community and opened Little Flowers Pre-school. This added classroom had a massive effect of her school as it allowed the youngest children to be separated from the older and thus allowing minimal disruption in the older learning classes. This school is base din an area called Hawaii in the Amazinzi district and is such a colourful beacon of hope.

Denso South Africa’s ongoing support of Royal Drakensberg Primary School

This school, originally built by the Cavern Hotel’s owners to school their own children, has grown substantially, and is supported by a number of organisations. Denso South Africa provides funds annually to pay for two learners to attend – both from the impoverished Amazinzi district, as are most of the other learners.  I had the privilege of meeting “our” two learners and had some wonderful conversations together with the school principal Thobani Ndlovu. They are so proud to be at this school and are progressing well.

The photo with its stunning mountain backdrop which has recently been given the status of a National Conservation reserve.

Travel Dairy: Northern Drakensberg

The visit to the school and pre-schools was soul invigorating, but true to South African standard a few guests had been assisted along their way during the trip.

The first was a frog in the classroom, which for the young children was terrifying, and then we had to assist, very gently of course, a local Puff Adder to ensure it was not killed on the pathways. Fortunately, the Baboons behaved themselves this time, and did not get closer than 5 meters the one day! Another superb weekend in Africa.