Qalakahle ECD Centre Opening Ceremony

It is truly amazing to stand here today in a building that we all had a hand in making a reality.  This building is not just a building but a dream made real.   I want to share some history so that everyone doesn’t just look at the building and go “nice building”, this building is so much more than that – this building is a symbol of hope in a time our City and country needs it.

In 2010 I received a call from Hoosen Moolla, from iTrump and Darlene Menzies to say there is a little crèche in Mansel Market that has just received a letter from the Health Department to shut its doors.  The problem is the crèche is an essential service in an area such as this, could we do something?  At that stage I had just given up my job and had no income and had just given birth to my first child – but something needed to be done. So a group came in and cleaned and painted and repaired but we could never do enough to that building to enable it to reach Health department standards. But then the staff of Kentz raised R40,000 one Christmas and donated it to us allowing us to dream that a brand new facility could happen.  PRASA and the Business support unit signed over this piece of land to us and Ocean Architects designed this facility to meet the needs of the community. All we had was R40,000 and enough ignorance to believe that we could do it, so we pushed forward.  Afrisun KZN community development Trust then very generously donated R1,000,000 and we were a step closer.  Ocean architects pulled a lot of the professional team together as well as getting many companies in Durban to donate their stock in order to make this building complete.

We are Durban exists because we believe that the people in Durban have enough talent and resources to solve the social injustices we see in our city.  This project proves it,  all of us together, we are Durban.  We all come from different walks in life; some are public figures some are in the private sector and some are in the non-profit sector. All of us together can bring hope to this city.  Just look at this building, we dared to dream, we dared to hope and now this community can dare to dream, and dare to hope in a future beyond this market.  We are looking to the future by investing in these children,  We believe these children have the potential to be the ones to find the AIDs cure, or be a future president.  We have set a stage for them.  We have delivered excellence in this building its now time to start their lives believing that this is the norm and use what they gain from here as a spring board into a bright and glorious future.

Yes, this may look like a mere building to some, but to those who have had a hand in it and to the kids and this community this is a symbol of hope.

Linda Morrison’s speech from the opening ceremony

A big thank you to all our sponsors and donors for making this a reality:

Company name Donated item
Aecom Pro Bono Professional services – Project Managers
AfriSun Primary Sponsor – Excess of R1,000,000.00
Arup Engineering Pro Bono Professional services – Structural and Electrical Engineers
Assoy Abloy Ironmongery
Bildware reduced cost on ironmongery for aluminium windows and doors
CAPCO external partition materials at cost, and some labour
Cobra Watertech all taps and 1 bottle trap
DCP Signs Signage
Dutton Plastics Toilet seats
eThekwini Municipality Land and wavering of fees
Flowcrete Donated material for internal floor finishes
Franke 2  Kitchen  sinks
Headway Pre-Primary school Cash Donation
Impact Engineering Steel supplier at cost plus and donation of paint
Kentz Cash Donation
McCoys Glass All glazing materials
Ocean Architects Pro Bono Professional services – Architects
Perspex SA Perspex in doors and fencing inlays
Safal Supplies steel to Safintra for roofing and cladding
Safintra Roof sheeting and cladding
Saint Gobain Interior cladding and ceiling
SBDS Pro Bono Prefessional services – Quantity Surveyor
SunInternational Furnishings
Swanlite Lighting
Swartland All doors at cost done through Schantelle at Specifying techniques
T8 Holdings Industrial Roofing Specialist – installation only
Thekweni Reinforcing all reinforcing including additional for slab and foundation errors
Thermowise Supply and installation of a heatpump
Vaal Potteries All sanware
Duromed Education of a teacher