Dear Friends of Golden Sunbeam
So many people in the districts of Baden Württemberg, Bavaria and North Rhine Westphalia had to learn very painfully that rain can result in such devastation. The extent of the tragedy caused by heavy rain, high water and floods with more than 170 dead and countless people who have lost everything, touches us in South Africa very much!
You probably remember the reports about the extreme water shortage here at the Cape – that’s just three years ago.
Many scary pictures, like this one above ofTheewaterskloof Dam, went around the world in March 2018.
Since then, the situation has changed completely! If we were previously confronted by eternally empty dams and reservoirs, they are now full and even overflow. In this year’s winter month of July, it rained so much that the largest dam in the Cape region, the Theewaterskloof Dam, has now overflowed and its level is over 100%. For South Africans, that’s the positive side of the rain.
That there is also – as has just happened in Germany – a destructive negative side, people in the townships experience almost every day in the winter months. The streams in the townships often overflow their banks and undermine the often very poorly constructed dwellings. Most of the roofs leak, it rains in everywhere and everything is wet. The few hours of sunshine are not enough to dry belongings.
Most people are grateful if they can, at least, receive a free hot meal from the soup kitchens – like here from the principal of our Kindergarten Kingdom Kids in Sir Lowry’s Pass.
In view of the disaster in Germany, it is difficult for us to report on this topic and of course the suffering of the people here cannot currently be compared with the suffering of those affected in Germany.
For a number of years we have repeatedly found leaks on the roof of our Helderberg Goldensunbeam kindergarten in the township of Macassar and repaired them in a makeshift manner. Unfortunately unsuccessfully, as the roof still leaks and, with the heavy rains, it leaked into the classrooms.
So before winter, we decided to invest a large sum and completely re-cover most of the roof. The heavy rain in July was the test – we are very happy that the new roof held.
In 2020 and 2021 we carried out extensive renovations in our Great Beginning kindergarten in the Asanda-Village township. A big problem there too: the leaky roof. The ceiling in the kitchen already bulged because the dampness had penetrated it. That is why we have decided to make a major investment in a new roof here as well. We are now happy that the interior is protected from water damage.
At the beginning of July we received a call for help from our principal Florentia from the Lekkerbekkies kindergarten in the Rusthof township, who sent us photos of rooms in which it had rained.
This affected the kitchen, bathroom and two large classrooms, which we were able to quickly seal through targeted repairs and waterproofing measures without having to re-cover the roof.
In mid-July we received another emergency call from Cynthia, the principal of Small World in the township of Nomzamo.
Once again, the roof had leaked and it had rained into the classrooms.
At the beginning of July we had just invested in a new kitchen and, with wise foresight, added a rainproof ceiling to the corrugated iron roof in the kitchen, which until then had had to do without interior cladding.
The other leaks in the roof we could also repair fortunately, waterproofed and resealed.
We, all principals, kindergarten teachers and children thank you sincerely for your support so that we can realize projects of this magnitude!
In the middle of last week we received very sad news:
Valencia Batyi, teacher of our Sikuthale Pre-School in Asanda Village township, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly for us.
Since 2008, Valencia worked with Muriel, the principal of Sikhutale and her colleague Abigail together. They were an inseparable team that looked after over 150 boys and girls. Valencia was very popular with the children and with her colleagues.
To us, she was a very special and valued person, due to her friendly, open and warm personality. We will always fondly remember how she and the children undertook presentations in a creative way. Her passing leaves a huge gap in our lives. Our hearts go out to her family.
Valencia Batyi, we will miss you very much.
Rest in peace!
In deep mourning
Britta & Bernd