Women to climb ‘Kili’ for classrooms

2014-03-28 00:00

DURBAN woman Cindy Norcott and a group of dedicated individuals will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in a “Climbing for Classrooms” project.

This project will officially start on April 15.

According to Norcott, it’s about educating, uplifting and inspiring the youth.

“I will do the climb with my husband, Michele Solomon (Robin Hood Foundation trustee), Robin Keulder (committee member), and seven other climbers. It is a personal goal and we will all be paying for our own expenses, but we thought it would make the whole experience more meaningful if we all climb for a combined cause that we are passionate about,” she said.

“To me, education is one of the only ways of breaking the shackles of poverty. I also believe that education starts at the beginning, and we see too many crèches squashing in the tiny kids with no hygiene, sanitation or educational opportunities.”

Norcott said the funds raised from the Climbing for Classrooms campaign will be used to build a large, spacious classroom at a little crèche that they have identified in Mariannhill.

“When we visited this crèche, we were shocked at the lack of infrastructure, lack of sanitation and lack of educational equipment, yet, with little to no resources, the young teachers are trying their best to teach these children the basics that are required for an education foundation,” said Norcott.

“The young volunteers have been trying to get help to develop this little crèche and grow their facilities as they have another 50 children on a waiting list who desperately need to be schooled but have no funds.”

Norcott said that there are 30 children squeezed into a small room no bigger than 4,5 metres by 4,5 metres. There was one door and one window.

All the babies sleep on one worn old mattress on the floor in the corner. There are hand-drawn charts of colours, numbers and weather on the wall, and they only found two books in the entire room.

With the campaign, Norcott and her volunteers have undertaken to build a quality classroom for this little crèche — from the infrastructure to the fencing, toilets, books, tables, chairs, curtains, toys and mattresses. She said that a project like this will cost approximately R180 000 and they are appealing to the community for assistance.

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