8 March 2018

South Africa: Community Rebuilds Motherwell Creche After Fire

A pre-school in Eastern Cape has reopened its doors to children after a fire gutted it on 2 January. Community members joined hands to rebuild the crèche.

Sinethemba pre-school in Motherwell, NU8, was accidentally set alight by firecrackers. It is co-owned by three elderly women who double as educators. The early childhood learning centre did not have a sponsor despite it being registered. There were 85 children enrolled at the time of the fire.

Located on Sakwatcha Street, the crèche is close to the Crossroad taxi rank, making it convenient for working parents from across Motherwell. It charges a nominal fee of R120 per child per month.

After the fire, donations poured in. St Marks Church in Kabega contributed construction materials. Workers at Discovery Health contributed flooring material, food and children's toys, among other things. Sam Huysamen, a representative of the company, said, "We have plans to establish a gardening project at the back of the crèche."

Mavis Slamse, a co-owner, said furniture and goods, including books, worth more than R40,000 had been lost. "We have been teaching kids at our houses until we opened the place last week. We are really grateful to all people who helped us. The place is now much bigger and safer for children to play."

"We are however still short of furniture."

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