Drayini Village, near Idutywa
Matolweni Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) operates from a mud structure which is inadequate, unsafe and cannot accommodate the number of young children in the area. It was run by Lutho Qudalele, 19, and her mother, their family's only source of income until tragedy struck.
On Women's Day, Saturday 9th August 2014, Lutho's father asked her to make him a cup of tea. Upon realising that there was no sugar at home, Lutho grabbed a sugar basin and ran to the crèche, about 400 metres away. She never returned, leaving two young sons without their mother. Police and the community searched for Lutho for days without success. Her body was found floating on the banks of the Nqabara River 13 days later, 4km from her home. A young man who lived near the crèche received 3 life sentences for kidnap, rape and murder.
Lutho's mother refused to set foot in the crèche ever again, the structure being a constant reminder to the community of the terrible events that occurred there.
Samarpan Foundation undertook to build a safe structure for the community and started work on site in June 2016. Volunteers were met with great excitement and enjoyed a warm welcome celebration upon first arrival in the rural village of Drayini. The entire community demonstrated their enthusiasm and eager participation in this project by filling hundreds of PET bottles in anticipation of the meeting! PET bottle filling placed meals on the tables of hungry families in this destitute area where poverty and suffering are the daily reality. Local bricklayers and labour were trained in the building system and have completed construction. They have used the income earned to support their families, educate their children and build and repair their homes, the majority of which were unsafe mud structures.
The new facility demonstrates the innovative and affordable building method to the community and comprises of three classrooms to accommodate 75 ECDC learners, afternoon Tuition for the local school students with a focus on Maths and Science and Adult Education in the evenings. The entire facility is wheelchair friendly to accomodate all. The rondavel will operate as a free computer laboratory - a luxury not before available in the area.
The new facility has brought much needed hope and relief. We lovingly remember Lutho Qudalele, always held in the hearts of this community.