Spring definitely sprung in Coffee Bay………flowers were blooming, puppies and kittens were being born and the children at Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori were blossoming into amazing little human beings!  The waiting list of children wanting to attend the pre-school was also growing and growing…….

THEN I answered a phonecall in early September from the NDA (National Development Agency) and Avela told me that they were going fund the building of the new Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori Pre-school!!!! WOW – what a WONDERFUL phonecall to receive 🙂

Noncokazi Simoyi (a Sustainable Coffee Bay NPO colleague and the woman who has opened her own laundromat) and I went off  to East London to go and sign the documents from the NDA.  I still couldn’t actually believe it!!!!  And to just really tip the scale, while I was visiting Sharon Caldwell, a very experienced Montessorian in East London, she gave Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori some  INCREDIBLE Montessori materials for both the maths and the culture section……..I throught I was going to pass out……just tooooooo many good things happening at one time – hectic!!!

After managing to climb down from cloud 9, I starting making plans, and there were many of these ahead!  After going through the contract very carefully, I realised that our building budget of R300 000.00 was not really very much, at all, for building a big pre-school – we would have to put our heads together for this challenge!!

Now it was time to source a site of land from one of the local communities.  I first attended a community meeting in Rini (which is our local village) and told everyone about the funding from the NDA and that all the community was required to do, was donate a piece of land for the pre-school.  I then invited the headmen (the man in charge of the village) from 12 surrounding villages and explained to all of them about the NDA story.  The headmen were asked to return in 7 days to advise whether their community had a site to donate to the pre-school.  After the week had passed, it was the village of Jonga (which is on the right side of the top of the cement hill) that came back to say that they had a site for us!

We arranged a meeting with the NDA and they invited the Dept of Roads and Public Works and with the headman of Jonga and some senior community members, we went to check out the site.  It was looking good – The site for our new pre-school is looking good! WHOOP WHOOP!

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Site for the new pre-school
Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Checking out the new site!

The next step was to get the Department of Land Affairs/Rural Development to come down and do a Community Resolution – this was another challenge!  My land angels were working with me though, as we called and emailed the department on a daily basis, for about 18 days straight……I think Mr Pakade was so sick of hearing from me, that he gave me the date for the Community Resolution meeting – 3 December 2011! YEAH!!!!

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Avela from NDA expressing her joy

3 December 2011 proved to be a very, very hot day and I must say a MASSIVE thank you to the Jonga community, as they sat in the blazing sun for a good few hours, supporting the new pre-school – I would take my hat off to them – but it really is toooooo hot! (haha).  There were only positive words heard on that scorching day and after all said, done and signed, we all went off to the site to enjoy some bread and Coolcrush and to find some shade!

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
The tata’s from Jonga sitting in the blazing sun
Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Nomonde talking on behalf of ILM and SCB
September – December 2011 at Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori
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