After over a year of hard word, planning, changing course, and learning as we went along -- the preschool for Project 23.3 has been completed! The total amount has been raised and the building was recently completed, much to everybody's excitement. Here it is!
Alex came to visit Swaziland at the end of December and we all visited Cetjwayo to see the site of the new preschool. Here she is on the front steps. Go back a couple blog posts to see the boards propped under a tree which was the old preschool!
Nellie is pictured on the far left. She's the preschool teacher who taught for so many years under the tree and will now be using the new building. She was so excited! Second from the right is Kathy Gau, our main partner in the building of the preschool. It was her organization and dedication that allowed us to join efforts and have a building finished for the upcoming school year. The other people are community members from Cetjwayo.
Inside, we were shown all of the supplies that have started to be gathered.
These 'chairs' are made out of cardboard boxes.
The whole group!
Another angle of the school.
Alex with Eric and Keri, who live about 2 hours from the site.
Nellie and Alex.
Alex is reviewing the visitors' log, which Nellie keeps for all the visitors to the preschool site.
One of the girls who just graduated from the preschool in November. She will be the last age in Cetjwayo to be able to say that she was attending school under a tree. Which is good news for all the children younger than her!
Alex presented Nellie with a gift for the school: a globe which rotates on solar power. Everybody got to see where Michigan was in relation to Swaziland. On the base of the globe, the inscription says "From our hearts to yours." It was a perfect sentiment for the special day.
The first day of school will be the 24th of January.
It's been an amazing journey to see this project from start to finish, and we hope that the legacy of this preschool will be able to impact the children of this very remote village for many, many years to come. None of this would have been possible without the amazing support of so many donors. A huge 'Siyabonga kakhulu' (Thank you very much) goes out to all of them! This all started as a way for one high school student from Michigan to try to show support to the children of Swaziland; to show that we're all part of a bigger family. Sometimes we all forget that young people can make a difference in the world when they put their minds to it, but Project 23.3 will always be a testament to how much that is possible!