iThemba Lamampumuza Community Centre
In 2007, Nkosi Zondi gave iThemba a piece of land with the request that we build a community centre, starting with a preschool. On August 3, 2015, the preschool opened its doors to welcome the first class of students. It’s been a long journey, and it’s not over yet, but we celebrate how far we’ve been able to come!
AN INNOVATIVE METHOD: RAMMED EARTH
Rammed earth technology involves mixing soil excavated from the building site with a stabilizer and then ramming it between wooden molds (shuttering) until it is cured. This is a cost effective, eco-friendly method, as well as being a better insulator than cement blocks.
Since every site has different soil properties, we took a long time testing our formula with different stabilizers to get the strongest wall. We discovered that for this area, lime is the best stabilizer. Not only did we want our building method to be affordable, we wanted to hire and train previously unemployed community members in this building technique so that they would gain marketable skills. We now have both the technique and the “team” to produce quality, low-cost buildings for the community centre, and the community as a whole.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE
From the site workers who spent hours testing the technique and then building the preschool, to the many engineers, architects, technicians, donors and volunteers who gave time and resources, the team who built this building is irreplaceable! To read more about our site team and our strategy for empowering local community members through the building of the site, click here. We are incredibly thankful for our principle funders, as well as for the many local businesses who donated the materials we required.
On September 11th, 2015, Nkosi Zondi cut the ribbon to formally open the iThemba Preschool, the first phase of the iThemba LamaMpumuza Community centre site. We welcomed the community and funders to celebrate! To view pictures of this special day, you can visit our facebook album here.
The second phase of the community centre is the beginning of the children and teens support centre. This will house amongst other programmes:
A GAP year for Community School leavers;
After school homework support;
Teachers training and resource centre;
Base for the Early Childhood Household stimulation programme;
Children and teens holiday programmes;
Community discussion groups
This next phase will gradually build up to impact over 500 young people weekly. This will involve direct contact as well as indirect, through the development of their teachers, their parents and the young adults they come into contact with. The next phase will go a significant way to helping raise a generation full of hope. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can be a part of making this next phase a reality, please contact us.
© 2017 iThemba Projects
Phone: +27 (0)31 0200 200
Physical Address: 8 Pin Oak Avenue, Hilton, Unit 07,
Pin Oak Park, KwaZulu-Natal, 3245 South Africa //
Postal Address: Box 765, Hilton, 3245 South Africa