A School with a Roof
You may remember earlier this month I sent a small contribution to the school project in far-away Mozambique. I just received this exciting message from Val, who is spear-heading the construction efforts:
Dear All --
Well we are back from Mozambique and a heavenly few days in that special place. We duly delivered two more of Geli's wonderful boxes of school books, stationary and toys, to the Matsopane School. We arrived at the school at 11am and there were lots of children there - it seemed as though there were many more than on previous visits and I wondered if more children are actually attending school these days. Which is what we want! These were only the AM (morning) children too. The school is divided into AM and PM classes due to shortage of teachers and facilities. I noticed too that the 'fathers' of the children have started building some reed and thatch buildings in the traditional style, to create new classrooms and replace collapsing ones.
The teacher banged on a big metal triangle, and children came running screaming from all directions - each with a school bag slung across their shoulders. There was much excitement and waving, cheering at first - then under guidance from the teachers the children organised themselves into lines according to age groups. It was sweltering hot, and the humidity was high as rain clouds started to build. We opened the boxes and began to hand out books and pencils, crayons etc to each child. This took a bit of time and some happy confusion but eventually the boxes were empty.
I also gave them some paints and brushes, and explained to the teachers how to use them. I have asked that the children make some paintings that we could possibly make into postcards/calendars which we could then sell to raise money for more equipment and books for the school. This idea originated with Tessa and i think is a wonderful concept. Lets see what they do with it!!
After the handout, the children gathered around the teacher and sang and thank you song, with beautiful harmony and rhythmic clapping!
On behalf of us all, I handed Lucas (who works for us) an envelope with R10,000 cash, to finance the construction of a school room with a proper tin roof, cement floor, and brick walls. He will make a start on this straight away -- liaising with builders, and ordering materials, so hopefully by the time we go again (Sept or Nov) there will be some progress to report.
With much hand clapping and singing I thank you all for your great kindness in assisting this little school in an acre of sand, by a lake, in Mozambique. The children really appreciate the gifts, and even more I think they appreciate the goodwill.