By Sinéad McNeela
On arriving at Dichibidu, on our first day we met with Angelique the crèche owner who appeared happy to see us, but also quite inquisitive as to what we had planned for her new crèche. We walked into the old shack, it was quite grubby and we noticed that the concrete under our feet looked like it had just been done, and not very well. It was almost like clay in texture and it was crumbling at the sides. Angelique noticed us inspecting the concrete and she began to tell us a story. She explained to us that she had just paid 700 rand (about €54) for someone to come in and re-concrete the floor of the shack. She said the man who did it, spent little time there and then disappeared before finishing. She seemed quite upset and sceptical about our work here after this experience. We reassured her that what we were going to do would see much better results and that our work here at the crèche would see positive results. She then described our team being there as ‘a gift from God’ and although she was hesitant, I think at this moment she had her trust in us and our plans for the renovation.
The following few days consisted of our team working on and off site. The work included painting tyres for the playground, re-doing the children’s chairs, digging a trench for the tyres, re-doing the menu and entrance sign for the crèche, digging holes for the metal posts in order to place the fencing around the crèche, and much more. Once Angelique saw that we were working hard in order to make her crèche a more enjoyable, safer environment for the children, she was happy to see us getting stuck in.
At the moment we have 20 colourful tyres placed, (with more to do), all the chairs painted and ready to be placed, the galvanised shack is in place and the concrete base is almost down, the fence around the crèche is also finished, the gate also up and our colourful new signs ready to be hung up.
We are all more than excited to see the finished product, and also to see Angelique’s face once she sees her new crèche. The children have been in and out to us on the site on most days so I’m sure they’re wondering what the finished product is going to be. We are optimistic that they will all love the new and improved ‘Little Star II Early Learning Centre!’