Commemorating Mandela Day is always special for Breadline Africa, but there are a few moments that really stand out! One such celebration took place at Langabuya Primary School in Mbekweni, Paarl, where the staff joined teachers and students, along with donor representatives which included celebrity Olympic champion swimmer, Ryk Neethling, also the Marketing Director of the Val de Vie Foundation.
The project was a combined effort, infrastructure funded by Breadline Africa’s individual donors around the world and the Val de Vie Foundation with support for furnishings and books from the Solomon Schechter Day School (US), Drakenstein Child Health Study (DCHS), West End United Methodist Church (US) and Biblionef. The 1,505 children had been eagerly awaiting the opening of their library, which consists of two six-metre shipping containers that were joined together.
Ms Lorraine Hadfield from the Val de Vie Foundation thanked Breadline Africa for their commitment to the project and expressed her delight at its success. She quoted Barack Obama’s Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in which he explained that today with the Internet, every child in the remotest part of this country has access to the knowledge of the world at their fingertips – and the library for the children at the Langabuya Primary School is just the beginning of this journey.
The principal of the school, Mr Dalindyebo Fiki explained that reading periods will become the norm at the school – and having the infrastructure to do so will make all the difference in helping the children to learn – not just to read, but to love reading! He thanked all of the donors and partners who had made it possible for them to achieve their dream of a library for the school.
Jaco de Kock from Breadline Africa read out one of Madiba’s famous literacy quotes and thanked all those who have contributed; Lorraine Hadfield and the Foundation, Marina Lawrence from UCT (DCHS) for approaching Breadline Africa and Solomon Schechter School and Biblionef for donating books. In closing, Jaco asked the teachers and children to create a legacy of literacy and learning.
The head girl of the school encapsulated their excitement about the new library and provided a fitting ending to the formal celebrations: “Open a book and you will find, People and places of every kind; Open a book and you can be, Anything that you want to be; Open a book and you can share, Wondrous worlds you find in there; Open a book and I will too, You read to me, and I’ll read to you.”