Eben and family at a makeover handover party!
The prefabricated buildings used for units of classrooms, toilets and kitchens are provided by Streamline Rigging and Sheeting. Eben Terblanche, who now handles all the makeovers, explains that the materials used are ideal because they are cool in summer and warm in winter.
The structures are composed of polystyrene sandwiched between IBR sheets which are often used to make refrigeration units. They come complete with windows, doors, tiled floors, roof and gutters: “They are perfect because they are light and relatively easy to raise.”
Eben has become a feature in the areas in which we work and often goes back to see how the children and the ECD centres are progressing.
“I took my wife and sister with me once. We took some chips and sweets and drinks to give to the children. The women cried. Now, she can’t come with me anymore because she wants to bring all the children home. To work with Bernie is always a pleasure and I love seeing those kids,” he says.
When the volunteers arrive, which is quite a procedure in itself, the buildings are up, plumbing is in place and the site is ready to become whatever it is the volunteers want it to be.
It is hard, physical work under a relentless African sun. Concrete slabs have to be laid, racetracks arranged, holes and vegetable gardens dug, trees and vegetables planted and a lot of painting to be done before a celebration party is held to welcome the children to their new spot and to hand the keys over to the mama.