Mandela Day at Umnqophiso

Richard and kids

Mandela Day at Umnqophiso

We are a proud supporter of Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School so, for the third year in a row, we spent (a belated) Mandela Day with them.  Mandela Day fell in the school holidays this year so last Thursday we gave the children and staff muffins and cups of hot chocolate to warm them up.  It was such a delight to be able to interact with the children and make however-small an impact on their lives.


Umqophiso Pre-Primary School20150723_100356

About the School

In 1996, Nomaweza Victoria Mangqwengqwe started Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School after completing her studies as a pre-primary school teacher.  Victoria felt strongly about the need for pre-school education in her community, so she pursued many different resources in order to make it possible.  After obtaining permission from Umnqophiso Primary (a local primary school) to use an old prefabricated classroom of theirs, Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School began and 80 children were enrolled and housed in this small classroom in Lwandle, a long-established community situated adjacent to the N2 highway between Somerset West and Strand.

In 2000, Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School was no longer allowed to use the prefabricated classroom so it moved into three zinc structures on another property.  These structures were extremely cold and wet in winter, very hot in summer, and often used by other members of the community.

After a long struggle and due to the dedication of Victoria, her staff and the parents the school moved to its permanent premises at the start of 2003.  The school has become a wonderful testament to the difference one person can make within a community.

The school also runs Phakamani, a training and skills development programme for women in the community (which includes training on skills such as sewing, childcare, cooking and nutrition), and an after care centre for children in the area.


How to help the school

The school continuously needs resources, their key priorities for 2015 include:

  • new equipment for four classrooms
  • chairs and tables for one classroom
  • stoves for baking classes
  • sewing machines for the Phakamani trainees
  • monthly salaries for the trainee teachers who supervise the After Care Centre


Umnqophiso’s new website

We are currently working on a website for the school, with Sherpa Business Communications.  Watch this space!

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We have chosen to support Umnqophiso Pre-primary School as we believe this is a local success story that should inspire other communities and community leaders. We assist the school with improvement of their facilities, financial and non-financial guidance and financial resources if required.

If you would like to become involved with Umnqophiso Pre-primary School, please contact us.

Caylin Conradie



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