House of Children – Coffee Bay
I spent a couple of hours shooting some images and video at the Ikhaya Labantwana Pre-School up in Jonga Village near Coffee Bay. It’s a pretty cool story about a bunch of folk who started a pre-school in a rondavel a couple of years ago with 13 children and now in the newly built school, offer a Montessori education and two healthy meals to nearly fifty kids every day.
You don’t expect to find a Montessori School perched up on a classic Kei hill. The new shiny version opened in April 2013, after 3 years in a rondavel and with some assistance from the National Development Agency, Coffee Shack Backpackers and a bunch of sponsors and benefactors and some sheer bloody mindedness classes began on April 9th 2013.
Run under the umbrella of Sustainable Coffee Bay (An NPO that runs education based community projects) and headed up by Dawn Brochenin, its hard not to see the benefits of this effort and accomplishment in the happy faces of the children who attend daily.
A further spin off is twelve local women are currently undergoing teacher training with the goal of opening a further five satellite schools based on the same model in the surrounding villages.
In a country where the education system is panned for being inadequate, its pretty heart-warming and inspiring to see individuals and organizations stepping in to fill the gaps, with nothing but passion for education and a will to improve the lives of children in South Africa.
If you want to help or sponsor a child’s pre-school education please get hold of Dawn on firstname.lastname@example.org