Home Sweet Home

These pictures show how millions of South Africans are housed.

To avoid misunderstandings: it’s NOT the homestead of South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma. This guy has always been very privileged … ūüėČ …; most probably never stayed in a shack (well I did and it was quite an experience. Everything there except electricity and a toilet …)

These pictures are part of a documentary serie I’m engaged in for the NGO Food4Thought which runs the pre-primary school Funimfundo (= ‘Seeking Knowledge’) in the location (township/informal settlement) Die Kop nearby my village. The school is privately funded (no state involved), exists for 10 yrs and is regarded as one of the best in the Western Cape.

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Early this morning in the informal settlement

One could surely say that an informal settlement is a kind of eco village. What you see is shacks build of used materials. Old poles, corrugated steel, driftwood, cardboard, old doors … you name it. And the wall paper …. old magazines, newspapers, etc.

It’s a harsh life. No electricity or sanitation in the shacks but outside there are the municipal light poles, some communal water taps and here and there a toilet (with and without a pot). When it’s dark people light there candles and oil lamps. Cooking is outside on a camp fire or inside on a paraffin stove.

This morning I was there photographing a few kids on their way to school for an assignment of the NGO Food4Thought that is involved (for 10 yrs now) in the pre-primary school Funimfundo which is also located in this settlement. I took the opportunity (with consent) of picturing the children in their beds and their getting up and breakfasting at candle light; toothbrushing outside at a tap by one of the parents plus some general shots.

In a later stage I’ll come back with some daylight shots.

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Mandela Day in the village

Today we celebrated Mandela Day at the pre-primary school Funimfundo in informal settlement Die Kop near our village. For 67 (+) minutes around 20 volunteers from all walks of life worked in the garden or were engaged with improving the plumbing. And the children? They had their afternoon nap (more or less, see pics) and dreamt of a better world. One of the volunteers bought special boots for the occasion: “Food for all” is her motto.

 

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Greetings from an extraordinary pre-primary school

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The children are not as shy as head-mistress Nonkosinathi¬†to pose in front of the camera and yet, sitting on a swing, she feels like one of her ‘students’.

Funimfundo (Xhosa for ‘Seeking Knowledge’) is an extra-ordinary pre-primary school in the informal settlement Die Kop just outside our village. The school is privately funded via the NGO Food 4 Thought¬†and fundraising (in Europe and USA but also in South Africa) is needed to keep the school alive and kicking.

The initiative for the school came, in 2003, from Die Kop (especially the ‘mothers’). ¬†Funimfundo grew in 10 years to one of the best Pre-Schools in the Western Cape. ¬†The teachers (fully qualified after an extensive training funded by Food 4 Thought) ¬†all originate (‘born and bred’) from Die Kop. At the moment there are 55 pupils and significant is that a majority of them are from the village and raised by parents who value good education in line with their own traditional values.

It’s heart warming!!!

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