SUPPORTING NEWCLARE PRIMARY SCHOOL SOUTH AFRICA

Latest photographs showing students using the new library.



JANUARY 24 - UPDATE ON PROJECT

Well Done Newclare! - Phase 1 Complete!
  
It was wonderful to hear, at the end of 2023, that our funding has been put to good use; that the school has made significant  progress with the refurbishment of the library for the benefit of the children. It has been redecorated, reordered and partially restocked.

Teacher, Maureen Mesimela tells us . . . 
  
"The library spans an area of 5m x 10.5m roughly. Small for the 1100 children but at present we make do. Next to the library is quite a big area that is not in use, this is a future endeavor to break through and expand the library. These photographs show what we have been doing. Just creating order, colour coding books, covering book ends, covering books with plastic. Mostly using the funding provided by you.  
  
We have created an area for the grade R and 1 (5 - 7 year olds). We are so proud of this space. The carpets, some books and little toys were bought with your generous donation. Still to be done are two little chairs that we are doing up (materials already bought from the donation). The two beanbags were deep cleaned with the help of the funding as well. Oh, and I hope you like the mural I painted. My first, and I am so proud to have done that. As you can see the area needs many more books for our little ones.  
  
There is an area that we haven't touched yet, although we have bought enough paint with the funding, so that will be done soon. We wish to create a resource centre here for the teachers. This area is at the back and will be where we wish to break through in the future. So in the meantime all the old books have been sorted to be available for teachers' subject research.  
  
But here is where we will need future help because the ceiling is damaged in one corner and the shelving also needs to be repainted, floors need to be done the little sink area needs a new sink and we would like to provide seating, a printer and laptop for the teachers use.  
at present we have spent a total sum of R25 578 (£1132) 
  
With huge gratitude from Newclare Primary School". 


FURTHER UPDATE: FEBRUARY 

Newclare Primary School (South Africa) - RE has received the following information from Maureen Mesimela at Newclare Primary School on the 5th February 2024.

A happy new year to you, your family and all involved at Rotary.
I just wanted to assure you that the financial report was completed, and signed off and will be sent to you ASAP.
The year started off a little rocky with no librarian but the interns returned on Wednesday so library will be up and running by Monday. We are so proud of how it looks and can't wait for kids to start taking out books especially the age groups which are partnering with Byrchall
high.
The International Committee have decide that we will continue to support/fund Newclare Primary School during this year and will discuss a suitable donation at our next meeting.

 

Background to Project:

In August 2023 our club committed to support Newclare Primary School in a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. The school was established in 1917 by Founders Memorial Congregational Church and was known as Newclare Colored school. It once had the reputation of being the biggest school in South Africa, consisting of 84 teachers and approximately 3,600 pupils. 

It originated as a two-storey building made of corrugated iron with 10 classrooms. The office block was made of brick and is still in use today. The school population was later divided and new smaller and independent schools were formed. Today Newclare has 28 teachers and approximately 1200 learners (source: school website) so it is still a sizeable school.

https://newclareprimaryschool.co.za/#

Maureen Mesimela, a teacher and our main contact at the school, gave us some background to some of the serious issues facing the school, its staff and its learners: 

"Newclare is an area plagued by gangsterism with gang fighting so out of control that the police minister deployed extra policing in the area. Our school in particular had a parent shot outside in the street while waiting for his daughter, and a learner was shot together with her aunt right after fetching her term report from the school. Sadly, the aunt died and the learner, now in grade 8, still suffers the effects of her horrific injuries.  

Children in the area are accompanied to school daily by parents of whom many of them are unemployed. Unemployment is rife and many children depend on grandparents pensions. Children don't have the basic stationery; the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) provides books, textbooks and stationery. Economic situations at home causes loss of said stationery within days.  

Staff at the school are always managing to get sponsors to help out with the poorest children to provide them with shoes and sometimes uniforms.  The school has approximately 1100 children from grades R to 7. Class sizes range from 30 to 47. Two meals are provided daily through the National Feeding Scheme. Children get porridge in the morning and a cooked meal for lunch; in many cases the only healthy meal they receive each day.

At present the school is trying to bring about a revival of sorts. Children are now able to play chess and our school has won all their matches except for one. One learner in grade 6 participated regionally as well. There is also netball and soccer in which kids do well, netball won all their games. There's a junior and senior choir and I have started an art club. The children are excited and the teachers are enjoying the positive attitude." 

Now, our library is going through it's own makeover. It has been in existence for the last eleven years, since a volunteer helped get it up and running. At present we are revamping the library; a coat of paint, a mural, and replenishing books.  I am painting the mural from next week and during school holidays, and children from the Art Club will help me. Kids have been taking out books to read which, of course, is great. Unfortunately though as a school we cannot keep up with supplying new books and the many empty shelves show that we are in need of more.  

There are, of course, many other things where we need assistance - shelves in classes, painting classrooms, fixing toilets etc. We are tackling things one step at a time." The club was immediately able to send £1128; funds which our club had previously raised and ring-fenced for another school in the Eastern Cape of South Africa which sadly was closed by the Education Department as around 90% of its learners did not return after the COVID Pandemic. 

Our initial donation converted to 26,800 South African Rand which has helped Newclare to progress the work on this much needed educational facility. 

On 24 October, Maureen emailed us to say, "The big reveal of our revamped library is next week. We are almost there. We are super excited to show off our efforts and so so grateful to you and Rotary for helping us." 

This is great news showing how our support has enriched the lives of the children by helping to improve their learning environment. We look forward very much to seeing the photographs of the completed work. Well Done Newclare! 

FURTHER UPDATE April 9: Further photographs showing the library in use.Now in gallery

NB: Permission has been sought and granted for us to publish these photographs on our website.The school website can be found at: https://newclareprimaryschool.co.za/#



Contact Ray Edwardson about this page:

(ALL fields required)

(If you are a Rotarian, please name your club.)

SUPPORTING NEWCLARE PRIMARY SCHOOL SOUTH AFRICA sub-pages:

PRESIDENT ELECT PAYS VISIT TO SCHOOL.

more During a recent holiday in South Africa, President-Elect Ray Edwardson paid a visit to Newclare School to see for himself the new library our club is supporting. Read his report here:

Related pages...

DISASTER AID RESPONDS TO BRAZILIAN FLOODS

more Our club will be supporting this appeal.

JUNE IS ROTARY FELLOWSHIP MONTH

more To recognise the importance of international fellowship and goodwill among Rotarians with similar recreational and vocational interests.

MARCH IS WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE MONTH

more See what our club are doing to support this month's Rotary theme.

SUPPORTING WATER AID'S WALK FOR WATER

more This month our club is supporting our Past President Alan Pomfret who is walking 155km in the Walk for Water challenge.

FEBRUARY IS PEACEBUILDING AND CONFLICT PREVENTION MONTH

more To follow

END POLIO NOW

more The crocus corms we planted last October are now coming into bloom creating awareness of our END POLIO NOW campaign.

SUPPORTING THE MOROCCAN EARTHQUAKE APPEAL

more Our club has given a donation to the Disaster Aid Appeal following the recent earthquake. The latest update appears in the Disaster Aid Newsletter.

SUPPORTING THE ROTARY SHOEBOX SCHEME

more This year we have again supporting this scheme to spread a little happiness in Eastern Europe.

DECEMBER IS DISEASE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT MONTH

more Rotary is dedicated to fighting and preventing disease. Disease Prevention and Treatment is one of Rotary's Seven Area of Focus.

NOVEMBER IS ROTARY FOUNDATION MONTH

more The Rotary Foundation helps Rotary members to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace by improving health, providing quality education, improving the environment, and alleviating poverty.

SUPPORTING THE AFRICAN ADVENTURES FOUNDATION CHRISTMAS APPEAL

more The African Adventures Foundation is a registered charity set up in 2013 to provide support for 25 schools in developing areas of Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar.

OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL

more To continue our support of small business enterprise in Malawi; particularly to improve the lifestyle of women and girls who would otherwise be disadvantaged.

back to page above this...

WHAT WE DO AROUND THE WORLD: INTERNATIONAL 23/24

back Providing Rotary Service to International Communities. The following programme has been agreed at club assembly.