Bernd Holtkamp had a dream: Kindergartens based on a sustainable, energy-saving and environmentally-friendly model. Looking for a suitable location, he met a small Methodist community in Raithby. In this spread-out area, farm workers and their families still live in small, widely scattered communities. Urban sprawl makes it almost impossible to provide children with regular care and education. For this reason, a central place for child care needed to be found. And it was found: the property next to the Primary School in Raithby. After a long period of negotiations, it was provided by the parish in 2008.
In co-operation with the Technical University of Munich (Technische Universitat München), we developed the idea to create a model of how it should be constructed. This was as a “model project” with the Departments of Civil Engineering and Architecture. For their degree thesis, 30 students on these two degree courses, considered the ideal construction of a kindergarten. The best, award-winning thesis of these 30 students, was used as the kindergarten’s construction model. This finally resulted in a six-week practical implementation by the students and staff in Raithby on-site.
The project was financed by private resources, sponsors, the Technical University of Munich and its students (total costs approx. ZAR 1.8 million, about 107.000 Euros). The result is impressive: a marvelous kindergarten with under-floor heating (solar heating system) in all classrooms.
A minibus was then purchased in order to allow as many children as possible to visit the kindergarten on a daily basis. In the morning, a bus fetches them from the surrounding farms and takes them home in the afternoon.
Involvement since 2007. The ongoing capital expenditure, maintenance and direction of the Pre-School is now being driven by a passionate dedicated board led by Christa de Freitas, Robert Fraser and Mearle Hendricks, Principal of Brak en Jan. See their website