Thanks to the generous funds from JAM Norway and time donated by a group of volunteers, Ma Lizzy Day and After Care Centre has been transformed into a bright and happy centre of love and learning.
A group of 13 volunteers from Norway arrived in South Africa to participate in the Maxi Makeover at Lizzy Day Care Centre.
Before the group set to work, the construction team broke down the existing shack and erected a new two-room classroom structure. New palisade fencing was installed and the kitchen shack was also broken down and replaced with a B-1 Hut.
The three-day makeover consisted of interior and exterior painting, laying down the lawn, installing a solar cell panel and lamps. “They worked in record time and completed 98% of the work by Wednesday. I salute them for their achievement; they really worked with their hearts and strength,” comments Bernadette Van Rensburg, makeover supervisor at JAM SA.
“It was an incredibly wonderful experience to refurbish a building for other people. To see the little I contributed meant so much to them. God touched something in my heart,” says Tone S. Antonsen.
Closer to compliance
Not only was the centre kitted out with new equipment inside and out, but Elizabeth was grateful for the clothing, educational toys also provided by the JAM Norway funds. The Valenti Foundation in the USA donated a Valenti Library of books, posters and other educational material, which will be used regularly in the centre.
Mama Elizabeth is confident that the makeover will lead to an influx of old and new children returning to Ma Lizzy’s after some of them left to attend a new centre down the road.
“This will hopefully bring Mama Elizabeth closer to compliance with Government’s early childhood development (ECD) criteria,” says Van Rensburg.
The Easter handover of the ‘new’ centre to Mama Elizabeth, her kids and the community was a fun-filled morning with colourful balloons and sweets to complement the bright and happy environment. Some of the volunteers sang and entertained everyone and the children responded with songs of their own.
“A bit of icing on the cake was the fact that we were able to open the gates of the centre to the children in the neighbourhood,” comments Kyrre Nævestad. They had been enviously eying the fun going on inside, and a lady from a local charity arrived with holiday sweets that were more than enough to go around.
“The makeover project has been a lifetime experience for me. Feeling the joy and gratitude of the people that depend on the centre and knowing that I’ve assisted in substantially improving the lives of people in real need with frankly, so little effort is enormously rewarding in itself,” concludes Nævestad.