Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Update on UBUNTU Community Hall in Waterval Boven

We are making rapid progress on cleaning up the vandalized community hall and launching our daily activities there. In three days we managed to get some electricity working and bring running water into the kitchen and even got one of the toilets working again. This means that we can actually be much more productive.  We expect to have the place lit up in the next week, as soon as we can find the wires that connect the various parts of the building. The entire electrical system has been ripped out and wires cut out of the electrical boxes.
Finding the right connections in a spaghetti mess of electrical wires

A light burns as a sign of progress
All the electrical boxes have been stripped

The damaged and dismantled kitchen sink

Within 3 days we have re-attached the sink and have running water to work with and washing up - but the second basin still needs serious repairs since the sink itself has been damaged and the entire waste below it has been stripped
 The hall and rest of the entire venue has been completely cleaned and mopped to get rid of severe dust. And we managed to rescue around 36 "usable" chairs - most of them are still ripped, bent and rusted - but are usable.

Taking a breather after a long day's cleaning - part of the UBUNTU Dream Team. From left: Nelson, Michael, Thabo, Bongani, and Sibusiso
The usable chairs that we managed to rescue

Two new metal security gates have been added to the original one which will close the soft areas where vandals have been breaking in. Even during the first few weeks of cleaning up, a few bathroom basins were stolen and major damage done in the process to the pipes and drainage. All this has yet to be replaced and repaired.
Metal security gates are made on site to fit the doorways that are vulnerable to vandals
Above and below - the inside view are the two barricaded doors that are secured with metal gates
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The garden has been cleaned for the first time in probably seven years, since I arrived in this town.

The entire garden is filled with broken bottles and glass shards - we have removed as much as we could on the first pass

Some of the prominent outside wooden doors and metal structures have been painted and varnished. But it will require several coats of paint to restore it. Gutters need to be replaced and roofs fixed.

The freshly varnished front doors - but they need a lot more TLC to make them functional
The gutter above the front entrance need to be replaced and the supporting wood structure repaired
Today we are expecting a piano and other instruments will follow, for concerts and theatrical productions. Our music teacher Henlie, is rehearsing a Nativity Play with the primary school children for the launch. Once we have full electricity in the venue, stage lights, seats, and a PA system, we can start to function and host events that will generate an income for the community kitchen.

Louise and the crew at the Stone Circle UBUNTU Village HQ prepares the food every day for the participating volunteers. This kitchen counter linked to the foyer of the community hall will function as the community kitchen in the near future

Some of the guys enjoy the delicious meal prepared in the UBUNTU Village kitchen

Today, everyone had a day of at the office - so I took the crew out for a "feast" at a nearby "keffie" as it is often called in South Africa, for fish and ships - and the obligatory loaf of white bread.
We will be needing at least 400 new chairs in the hall to fill the 500-seater. This is just one of the costs I need to cover before we can launch. Please make a donation that you can afford to our efforts. We will also need tables and benches for the community food kitchen. I will be posting a detailed list of final requirements on this page in the next few days for those who can get involved in funding some of these items. Donations can be made here:

Till later - in love and unit
Michael Tellinger