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Coffee Bay NGO Seeks School Furniture

Coffee Shack, a backpackers establishment located on the banks of the Bomvu River in the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape, South Africa is looking for school furniture for the local Tyelinzima High School.

The nearest high school to Coffee Bay is 20 km away. When the Department of Education (DOE), stopped scholar transport in the area a year or two ago, this obviously posed a massive problem for this very poor, rural community. (The area between Coffee Bay and Bulungula and the N2 have been identified in a couple of reports as having the dubious reputation of being one of the poorest areas in the country). So many kids stopped going to high school, as a result of no scholar transport, and no money to afford to pay for private transport.

The community, councillor, local traditional leaders and teachers got together and worked out a unique solution. They took one or two grade 8 and 9 teachers from each of the five Junior secondary schools (JSS) in the immediate area and formed a high school, which squatted in unused/vacant building in the local FET college.

This year the FET college was expanded and needed additional buildings, so 400 or more high school children are now been taught on the JSS soccer field. The local Tshezi Community decided not to wait for the department of education, and used their rental money saved from Coffee Shack rentals, to purchase 3 prefab buildings at a cost of R388,000 (US$36,712) , which are being erected currently, so that a portion of the pupils can be taught in a class room, rather than on their bums, in the dust in the scorching sun or alternatively mud and rain. The prefab classrooms, made of 10mm thick Masonite, no ceiling, were be erected last week.

The next problem is the school furniture – there are very few desks and chairs for the pupils, which is what this plea for assistance is all about.

Coffee Shack and it’s guests have completely furnished a couple of schools in the past, and have decided to do it again. Coffee Shack will try to raise the funds from their ever generous guests, and will probably loan the money in the meantime to buy the furniture, until the money is raised.

So far Coffee Shack have been told that there are around 425 kids, which equates to around R92,000 (US$8,705)  for that many desks and chairs. They do already have 76 old desks, without chairs, leaving a sizable amount still needed.

The problem is the urgency of the matter –  if anyone has some good ideas to assist in raising the necessary money or know some friends/corporates who would like to invest in a very worthy CSI cause, please contact David Malherbe & the Coffee Shack crew on telephone +27 (0)83 236 9251 or email wackypt@iafrica.com or visit www.sustainablecoffeebay.org.za or www.coffeeshack.co.za or www.facebook.com/coffeeshackbackpackers