• Facility nearing completion at Ixgara Village brings joy to children, parents and teachers
‘The new creche building is safe and it is ours to decorate’
A NEW crèche under construction in Ixgara village, Morgan Bay, is bringing smiles to the faces of parents – and children – after a 20-year struggle to source government funding.
Morgan Bay residents, businesses, visitors and fundraisers have, over the last three years, combined resources to fund the project so that they can cater for needy children in the area. Generous members of the community – and other volunteers – have all played a role in making the building project become a reality.
Ixgara crèche principal Eunice Dywashu said: “The government has done nothing for us during the last 10 years. We used to have the crèche in a community hall, but whenever the community wanted to use the hall for a function, we couldn’t have school.
“There was no water in the hall. It was also situated right opposite a spaza shop and shebeen, which was exposing children to bad things. The new crèche building is safe and it is ours to decorate and use.”
Morgan Bay Hotel’s Sue Warren-Smith, a volunteer with the project, said: “We have built the school in faith because we have no money. It will officially open after the winter holidays. This hall will greatly assist the children in the Ixgara village because they will learn so much more in a structured classroom environment”.
The hotel is also one of the sponsors.
Students taking a gap year through iALA (International Academy for Leadership through Adventure) in Stilbaai, Western Cape, volunteered to assist in the building of the crèche for one week every year, over the last three years. Some of the work they have assisted with is removing alien vegetation, building a fence, building a playground, painting and entertaining children.
This year, they arrived with a team from the Dutch Reformed Church in Stibaai with donations of stationery, bibles and books from Cape Town.
iALA director Jan Heenop said: “At first we just thought of having fun with the students in the area, but Robyn’s [Rohm] story at Yellowwood Forest [restaurant and campsite in the area] caught our attention, and we thought it would be 100% better if we could work on a project that would help the local community.
“Robyn and Sue Warren-Smith helped us to develop a plan by which we could be active and could try and have a positive influence in the informal settlement.”
iALA’s head of marketing and communication, Jacques van Rensburg, said: “The project teaches students that not everybody has what they have. It also teaches them to give of themselves and care for others. The response from the Ixgara community and students from iALA, has been amazing. The children are enthusiastic about the knowledge and stimulation they gain through our visit.”
Van Rensburg said he was excited about the bright future the new development would bring to the children and their community.
Dywashu said she would like to thank the many sponsors from Morgan Bay – and from further afield – who assisted the crèche.
They hope to officially open the crèche at the start of the new school term.
They are still looking for donations to help pay teachers and various bills owed on the building, as well as a donation of a ceiling. You can check out the crèche’s progress on their Facebook page Ixgara Crèche, Morgan Bay.