Dear Friends of Golden Sunbeams
Winter in the Cape region this year is extremely mild and sunny. Fortunately, as this helped many people during the Corona crisis. August 2020 however was really cold with lots of rain. For a few days we were even able to see the snow on the mountains – a rare spectacle for us!
A lot of rain is a blessing for the long-suffering Cape region. Our dams are currently fuller than they have been for many years. The water level presently stands at 95,6% (Storage levels 7th September 2020). Hopefully this will finally ease the restrictions that we have been subject to in terms of water consumption for many years.
Unfortunately, there is another side of the coin. The cooler temperatures and the large amounts of rain, lead to a great increase in fires in the townships, often resulting in death. People warm themselves by the open fire and forget to put it, or their candles, out at night.
The narrow stream in Sir Lowry’s Pass township carries a lot of water in winter and has turned into a small river. Due to our construction measures to regulate the river, we managed to prevent the Kingdom Kids vegetable garden from losing more and more soil.
Most of the roofs of the dwellings are made of thin galvanized sheet metal; are not insulated at all and quickly leak in heavy rainfall. The inner ceilings are made of cheap chipboard which soften and soak up rain water, before collapsing. Regrettably, this happened again recently in our kindergartens in the townships of Sir Lowry’s Pass and Macassar. Since the electrical cables are often laid directly on the false ceilings, short circuits often occur and, in the worst case, fires.
Due to the strong winter storms in the Cape, roof repairs are among the most common and most expensive repairs. We have just sealed the roof in the Kingdom Kids kindergarten in Sir Lowry’s Pass and have installed a new false ceiling.
On this occasion, we also installed a new lighting system with energy-saving LED indoor and outdoor lamps. In this way, in addition to safe and inexpensive lighting, we have also managed to make the rooms bright and friendly and a better environment for children.
Zelna Cupido, principal of Kingdom Kids Educare Centre in Sir Lowry’s Pass, is happy and grateful. After all the winter repairs, nothing prevents her from reopening her kindergarten. Long queues form at Zelna’s soup kitchen every lunchtime. Since the rush is so great, she has divided the distribution of food into groups: first the children, then the older ones, and then the rest of the Sir Lowry’s Pass residents.
There are still long queues in the township soup kitchens. The hygiene regulations in Zelna Cupido’s soup kitchen are compulsory wearing of masks and compliance with maintaining a distance. Those who do not wear a mask are not allowed on the premises.
Water damage in Macassar continues to be a major problem as the size and construction of the roof make it difficult to locate the leak. However, schooling could be resumed. Due to the Corona virus, the number of children is approximately 25% of the children who normally attend kindergarten. On the one hand, there are enough rooms for the children that do not have leaks but, on the other, the principals have enormous losses in income. In addition to these, the government has issued a large number of costly hygiene requirements without providing financial support.
Generally speaking, unfortunately it has to be said that the kindergartens are solely dependent on support from private donations. Due to the decrease in the number of children attending them now, the principals’ income is very low and the requirements for reopening are costly. Therefore, we have donated a part of the salaries for the month of September. In addition, we continue to support the soup kitchens with financial contributions.
We, our children and principals say THANK YOU very much to our sponsors, friends and acquaintances who continue to support us so wonderfully with their donations.
We would also like to thank our partner organizations: Masikhule
(www.masikhule.org), Masincedane (www.masincedane.com) and Cheafrica (www.cheafrica.net).
We look forward to donations or appeals for donations on Facebook to support our kindergartens in the townships.
Our donations account is:
Golden Sunbeams e.V.
Standard Bank of South Africa
Account number: 1011 2371 777
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
Thank you for every measure of support and please remain healthy!
Britta und Bernd