Mailakgang Library Launch

The launch of Mandela Day library number 31 was an amazing success, a true celebration of partnership and community. Mailakgang Primary School is situated in the North West Province about 300 km west of Pretoria and truly epitomises the “heart” of rural South Africa.

The gift of the library was part of on-going investment and commitment from the Woolworths Trust and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet into this community. Since 2004, the Woolworths Trust and MySchool MyVillage have collaborated with Food and Trees for Africa in sustainable food security efforts through the establishment of permaculure gardens, which today feed all 456 leaners at the school.

It was an event characterised by congratulations and celebrations of each partner and each individual who made a contribution, not only to the day, but to helping the school grow to where it is. Community members and parents would shout “Halala”(meaning congratualtions) throughout the ceremony.

The programme director, Mrs. Maredi, is one of the educators at the school and acted as master of ceremonies, introducing each speaker. It is convention for schools in rural communities of South Africa to begin with a prayer and in this Christian community the prayer was offered by Mr Matsibi, a teacher of religious education at the school. Relating a verse from the Bible about crossing a river to get to the other side, he addressed the learners of Mailakgang Primary to use the library as a tool to change, grow and transcend the barriers they face, to move into new spaces in their lives.

Each speaker, including Mrs Evelyn Badimo, the Principal, Tim Smith as director of Breadline Africa, Zinzi Mgolodela as trustee of the Woolworths Trust and Helene Brand as Marketing Manager of MySchool MyVillage, brought their own personal experience and insight to the community as well as the learners. They spoke of the importance of reading and how literacy helps to achieve dreams, they spoke of their personal experience with books as well as the value of community committment to the development and sustainability of the library.

As head of the school, principal Evelyn Badimo was celebrated during the ceremony as the pioneer, the visionary and the dreamer. As the leader of the school, she epitomised dreams becoming reality and so the gratitude shown toward her was a key theme in reinforcing the promise of dreams when it is joined with hard work and determination. The learners of Mailakgang Primary are certainly blessed to have her.

The learners’ contribution to the event by way of singing and dancing was incredible. The Grade 7 choir sang throughout; Grade R’s read out the rules of the library and Grade 3 Soul Buddyz members showcased their talent for dance and drama. All in all the learners, parents, community members and invited guests had a greatr time celebrating the arrival of the library. The Mailakgang Primary School is one of two schools receiving a library through The Woolworths Trust and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet investment. The second school library will be launched today in Mpumalanga province.

For more info about the Nelson Mandela Library Project, click here...

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