Before… and after!
Sunday is generally thought of as a day of rest. For the fifty volunteers, GVI staff, students and teachers that turned up at 9am on the 18th, it was anything but.
The first wave arrived bright and early at 8am to set up the workstations, only to find that they had been beaten to it by some eager students ready to get cracking with whatever task needed to be done. After some initial concerns about not being able to actually get into the school building due to a lack of keys, we thankfully piled through the doors and spread around the school and prepped for the day.
Once the whole group had arrived and had been briefed, everyone was keen to get going and settled into their jobs with gusto, working steadily for the next three hours: securing the library, making shelves, cleaning and painting walls and cataloguing books. Despite many fervent pleas to the weather gods and a number of sun dances, the weather refused to play along and stayed resolutely grey and wet all day. No one let this dampen their spirits though and the work continued unabated.
After a much need break and delicious lunch at Mama Lumka’s Ikhayalethemba, everyone returned to ACJ with a determination to pull together and finish everything in the time left.
But creating a library from scratch in a day is a rather large task and by the proposed end time of 4:30pm, walls were still patchy, books hadn’t quite made it to the shelves and there was still a lot of sawing and hammering going on; it just didn’t quite resemble a library….
Luckily, the team that had assembled that day were a hard working super team and by 6pm, an empty box of a room had been transformed into a warm inviting, book-filled children’s library, complete with a reading corner for story time, an environmental focal section, an art room and storage/recycling room!
Without everyone’s hard work, this simply would not have been achieved and I would like to say a massive thank you to all the people involved for pulling this off.
This week, the school librarian has been showing classes into the library and to see the look on their faces, to hear child after child ask you if they can sit in the library and read a book and to hear a tough looking grade seven boy exclaim as he came in, that was beautiful. It makes every moment of organisation and the efforts of everyone involved absolutely more than worth it.
Melanie Welfare – Teaching Coordinator