Phakamani Educare and Aftercare, Mfuleni, Cape Town, Classroom and Toilet Handover, 20 November 2017

Each year, Breadline Africa commemorates World Toilet Day on 19 November by donating a container toilet facility to a school in need. On Monday 20 November 2017, Phakamani Educare in Mfuleni, on the outskirts of Cape Town received their own flushing toilet unit, along with a new classroom. The pre-school was established in 2012, and principal, Vuyokazi Ngcibi, is dedicated to her small charges. There are currently 70 children at Phakamani, all under the age of seven.

World Toilet Day (WTD) is an official United Nations international observance day that shines a light on the global sanitation crisis. The World Toilet Organization established World Toilet Day on 19 November 2001 and each year public education campaigns and events raise awareness. Worldwide, 4.5 billion people live without safely managed sanitation. In 2013, the UN declared World Toilet Day an official UN international observance day, a call to action to assure water and sanitation for all. Toilets have a profound impact on public health and human dignity. Without toilets, open defecation leads to the spread of serious diseases such as diarrhoea and schistosomiasis.

At the opening ceremony, Bongiswa Maqhina, a parent whose child used to attend the pre-school, spoke about what an amazing lady Vuyokazi is and how she would be willing to care for anyone’s child, even through the night, when a parent was either sick or called to do night shift and had no one else to turn to. Vuyokazi was overcome with emotion and recalled how many years ago, she started clearing away the bush to put up a small shack. She thanked the donors of Breadline Africa who have helped to make her dreams come true.

Stephen Laylor and his wife Louisa Edwards, both Trustees of the Breadline Africa Irish Board attended the launch and commented on the poetry, song and dances performed by the children with so much enthusiasm. Stephen, who is also a member of the International Board, cut the ribbon and formally opened the newly upgraded facility.