Over the next two months the Jamestown community will be hard at work raising funds and tackling a make-over of the foundation phase playground at Weber Gedenk Primary.
Weber Gedenk has provided the community with a solid educational foundation since 1962. Unfortunately, weather and other uncontrollable forces have now left the foundation phase playground at the school in a state of unsafe disarray. Due to a lack of funding, the school has not been able to take action and provide a suitable solution to the problem. These issues were brought to light by the Office Administrator of Stellenbosch-based NPO, Ranyaka Community Transformation, and former Weber employee, Purdey September.
“I feel very sad that I can’t play on the playground. We can’t play there because we will get hurt because the playground is broken.” – Reeva Mesias (Grade R)
The project, which has been named Wikkel vir Weber, aims to create a safe, functional and beautiful play area for the school’s youngest learners. Wikkel vir Weber is a collaborative effort between the school, Ranyaka, the Nedbank Proud of my Town (PoMT) programme and the community of Jamestown. “The project spans two of the programmes that form part of the PoMT model, namely Strong Schools and Fix Your Space,” says Amy Levendal, Ranyaka Stakeholder and Relationship Manager.
The playground will not only serve as a safe space for the children to play in, but also an area where physical and sensory development can be optimised. At present, the Grade R and Grade 1 learners do not have any space of their own where they can freely socialise with their friends, burn off excess energy, and explore their creativity.
The school governing body, staff, parents, and learners of Weber Gedenk Primary are all very excited about the prospect of rebuilding the playground. School principal, Mr Jardine Jappie, says: “We have these beautiful new grade R classes, but the learners also need a playground as it forms part of their learning and development. Currently, the playground cannot be used at all and it poses a safety risk to the learners. A new playground will truly signify a new and fresh start, especially for the learners who will benefit from it the most.”
“I will be happy when we can play on our playground again. I will play in the sandpit and on the jungle gym – Jay-Lee Daniels (Grade R)
The team at the helm of the project is working around the clock to ensure that all campaign details are being communicated to ensure that all targets are being met. If the fundraising goals are met, the playground, which will be securely fenced and feature new and repaired, safe equipment, is expected to open in early August.
Says Levendal: “Jamestown has always been a community close to my heart, not only because I was born here and still find myself here after 36 years, but also because it is such a diverse community, rich in culture and heritage, who make wonderful things happen when they stand together. We know that this campaign will be successful because this community carry the kids’ best interest at heart and if, as in the past, we come together again, the possibilities are endless.”
Specific items required for the playground include wood, paint, sand, bricks, swing sets, balance beams, building sand, cement, climbers, crushed stone, tyres, rope, steel frames, monkey bars, grass, plants, a seesaw, nails, screws and a climbing structure.
Among the fundraising events that have been planned are an invigorating Zumba session, a scenic hike, a braai challenge (#BraaiVirWeber) and a Spekboom tree planting initiative. Any donations from both local business entities and the general public will be welcomed. Section 18A tax certificates can be issued for donations made.
For more information on the Wikkel vir Weber campaign or to offer your help, please contact Amy Levendal on tel 084 431 7691 or email email@example.com
In the Picture: L-R – Robin Hendrikse (grade R teacher), Mr Jardine Jappie (Principal: Weber Gedenk Primary), Francis Wenn (grade R teacher) and learners from Weber Gedenk Primary – envisioning an exciting new chapter for their playground!