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Hangberg Pre-School Opening 20 Jan 2017 – Official Press Release

Rotary Club funds eco- sustainable new school in Hout Bay

Hangberg Pre-Primary School officially opened its doors today, 20 January 2017, in the Hangberg community of Hout Bay, Cape Town. Rotary Club Am Kap, Cape Town’s German speaking Rotary Club, spearheaded the funding of the Early Childhood Development Centre and built the school together with the Hangberg Education Trust and with support from the Departments of Education and Transport and Public Works. The much needed learning facility will provide guidance and care to 120 children.

The new school offers a glimmer of hope to the widely publicised education challenges South Africa faces. The recent lowering of the matric mathematics pass mark to 30% and the 2015 findings of the OECD survey published in The Economist magazine (January 2017 edition), ranking the country’s education system at 75 out of 76 countries, is a sad indictment of what has been a decade of scholarly regression. The opening of Hangberg Pre-Primary School, and others like it, are moves back in the right direction.

In attendance at the inauguration of the school were Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Mr, Donald Grant and Provincial Minister of Education, Ms. Debbie Schäfer. Both dignitiaries expressed their optimism at the potential of the school to ease the plight of the most vulnerable in the community.

The Hangberg community is riddled with socio-economic challenges. It is a tale of a poor fishing community of approximately 8000 people, exposed to a socially volatile environment with high levels of unemployment and crime. Alcoholism and substance abuse are rife and many children are in need of direction and care.

There are approximately 2900 school-going children and approximately 1200 pre-school children in the area with only two registered play schools catering for some 200 children. For many of the children the streets are their playground. By the time the children enter school, many are struggling to cope: Sentinel Primary School’s Grade 1 class in 2013 had a failure rate of 16%. Clearly a feeder facility was necessary to entrench young children before reaching the traditional schooling environment.

Raising the funds through the global Rotary network

“When our club got approached by an NGO, the Hangberg Educational Trust (HET), we just loved their plans,” says Rotary am Kap’s Mike Schroder who was responsible for service projects. “The problem was the funding: The total outlay of R5.7m initially looked very steep. But Rotary Club am Kap has well established contacts with several Rotary Clubs in Germany, and some of these had already been participating in educational projects within the Cape Town area.”

Rotary Club am Kap brought together four Rotary Clubs in Germany, namely the Rotary Clubs of Neuss, Germering, Landshut-Trausnitz and Eggenfelden-Pfarrkirchen.

Together, just over R 5,2 million was raised to make this project reality of which just over R3,2 million was raised by Rotary. The foreign Rotary organisations donated 200 000 Euros with Rotary Club am Kap donating R350 000. Says Friedrich Schäfer, President of Rotary Club am Kap, “This project proves Rotary International’s global impetus as humanitarian service organisation, focus on action and making a difference in the lives of people around the world. And we are very proud that we as Rotarians were able to harness this power.”

The Hangberg Educational Trust, which supports neglected pre-school children in Hangberg/Hout Bay, had strong support from the adjacent Sentinel Primary School as well as from the departments of Education and Public Works in approving plans to build the Early Childhood Development facility.

Hangberg Educational Trust founding member Marquerithe Schreuder says,” We saw that there was a big need in the community of Hangberg and we proceeded to found the Hangberg Education Trust (HET), from the community for the community. At Hangberg we are providing high quality education and this will make a huge difference to the lives of these children and their families.”

A self sustainable school thanks to the power of the sun

Construction of the school started in January 2016 and was completed in only eight months. The building is rather unusual: situated at the entrance to the Hangberg location, it is highly visible to the whole community and it stands out due to its shape – a double story in an L-shape – and the intense use of bright colours, which were taken from the local kingfisher bird. The building is environmentally friendly and built predominantly of timber rather than concrete or bricks.

SolarWorld Africa generously donated a solar system that produces more power than it needs and thus is able to feed the excess power into the neighbouring Sentinel Primary School. The solar system includes 18 SolarWorld 255 Mono solar modules as well as the mounting structure. The solar system was installed by SolarWorld Africa’s partner, OneSolar who also donated the solar inverters. Gregor Küpper, SolarWorld Africa’s Managing Director, said, “It is an honour to contribute to a facility that promises to uplift the lives of young people in this community. And what a way for children and the community to see the positive effects of renewable energy first hand.”

  • Ends

 

Background:

Hangberg Pre-Primary School:

The School building consists of the following:

4 class rooms for 120 children

450 sqm. of enclosed space

Paved undercover play areas

Sick bay, office, 2 toilets per class

High level of security

 

About Rotary Club am Kap:

Chartered in 2009, Rotary Club am Kap is a German speaking Rotary Club, resident in Cape Town. Many a nationality and of any age group, this Rotary Club’s members come together to act in the spirit of Rotary and create lasting change. Most of the members are Cape Town residents and have strong personal and professional networks in South Africa and abroad.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” said Nelson Mandela. This Rotary Club is positioned to help to alleviate some of the education challenges South Africa faces by creating sustainable change through education projects. We do this by partnering with local and international Rotary Clubs and organizations, thus scaling access to funding and implementation know-how.

The members have initiated and supported a number of educational projects such as school-feeding, bursaries, leadership courses and exchange travels to Germany. Since 2011, Rotary Club am Cub members have been aiding an informal Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD) in Khayelitsha, where they have donated chairs, tables, mattresses, blankets, toys and food.

 

About Rotary:

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad.

Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary members have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.

Our motto: Service Above Self

For more than 110 years, our guiding principles have been the foundation of our values: service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.

What we do

Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. Our 35,000+ clubs work together to:

  • Promote peace
  • Fight disease
  • Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Save mothers and children
  • Support education
  • Grow local economies

 

About Hangberg Educational Trust (HET):

HET is an established, registered Trust and NPO that is closely involved in the Hangberg community – a previously disadvantaged community of mainly fishermen, their families and their offspring. HET believes that pre-school education is a key reason for the significant school drop-out rates and inability to turn around the socio-economic imbalances in this community.

HET aims to develop and support a quality, registered pre-school infrastructure for 300 young children over the next 3 years, as well as support ancillary activities such as parental training and educational community events.

Hangberg is situated on the idyllic slopes of Karbonkelberg and is home to the vibrant fishing community of Hout Bay. Sadly, it is plagued by the darker side of unemployment, substance abuse, prostitution, poaching and gangsterism, all leading to high teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and low parental engagement. For more than 1,000 pre-school children in Hangberg, there are only 2 registered playschool facilities, with capacity for just over 200 children.

Hangberg Educational Trust (HET), established in May 2012, believes that the best way to break the cycle is by supporting pre-school children; showing them that their life-stories can be different.

The Hangberg Educational Trust was established by two founding volunteers with carefully selected Trustees from the community. It is founded on the belief that in tough socio-economic environments the cycle of weak coping mechanisms and poor parenting skills cannot be broken without quality early childhood interventions.

In August 2013, based on a Memorandum of Agreement between the Trust and Sentinel Primary Schoo and, the Ministry of Education allocated a part of the school’s land for the trust to develop the Hangberg Pre-Primary School.

In spite of a lack of funding, Hangberg Pre-Primary School still managed to open its doors in a temporary, spare classroom at Sentinel Primary School on Monday 21 July 2014 to 9 eager learners, increased to 20 little ones by Friday 24 July 2014. As from 10 October 2016 the new building can teach and care for 120 little ones.

 

About Solarworld:

SolarWorld REAL VALUE: SolarWorld manufactures and sells high-tech solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The group, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, employs 3,828 people and operates facilities in Freiberg, Germany; Arnstadt, Germany; and Hillsboro, Oregon, USA as well as in a joint venture with Qatar Solar Technologies. From raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and modules, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including research and development in its own company, SolarWorld Innovations. Through an international distribution network with locations in Europe, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Africa and Qatar, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world. The company upholds high social standards and commits itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at http://www.solarworld.com or www.solarworld.co.za

 

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