From the shack to school…



When he leaves in the morning his grandmother to walk to school, he passes by 6 others huts which  together with his home are located in a backyard, along the only water tap and the collective squat toilet. His grandmother stays at home. Since the death of his mother due to Aids, she is also looking after his younger sister. Before the arrival of the grandmother he was on his own with the baby.

Finally he can go to school! Study! Play! Get out of the backyard, into life!

If only his stomach would not rumble all the time… At school he receives daily from the ministry of education some bread with jam and peanut butter, but there is not enough for all of them and for the whole day. How could it? Most of the 1.400 students do not exist officially; their parents have imigrated illegaly or the mothers have not registered their children before they died of TB, pneumonia or another illness. The headmaster accepts them all and the teachers look after them, but their means are limited, too limited to care for all of them and too limited to provide with necessary basics. There is not even a kitchen.

Sometimes he feels dizzy.

Then he wishes for a plate with colorful vegetables, with stamp and a big sausage, a glass of milk and a piece of sweet mango that are supposed to grow so nicely in South Africa. But not here in Katlehong.

This is a story, that reflects the life of most children attending the Tamaho and Mogobeng schools, since most of them live in shacks in backyards, come hungry to school and are mostly Aids-orphans who are looked after by their grandmothers or who have to live on their own. Have a look at the project in PDF-format and read how the two canteens help these children from Katlehong.

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The project

Beneficiary: daily a healthy meal for about 2.500 children in the Tamaho and Mogobeng schools, salary for 8 employees and their family, garden space for about 8 volunteers

Scope of the project: construction and facilities for 2 kitchens and canteens, extension and putting into place 2 gardens, salaries for 4 cooks, 2 kitchen helps, 2 gardeners, purchasing of food

Duration of the project: January 2009- January 2013. During this period the schools will be able to find other local financing models and sponsors. Naledi Projects wishes to be part of it through its project sponsorships.

Project partner in Luxembourg:

  • Direction de la Coopération of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE): confinancing
  • Pharmaciens Sans Frontières, Luxembourg: Helping to submit the cofinancing request and transmitting it to the MAE

Local project partner: Lambano Sanctuary NGO

Costs of the project: 484,569.80 € (representing 5 € per child per month)

  • MAE part: 323,045.87 €
  • Lambano Sanctuary part: 24,935.06 €
  • Naledi Projects part: 136,587.87 €


Naledi Projects
Cynthia Wald
Tel. + 352 30 81 64

Course of the project:

The co-financing of the project is closed:  Naledi Projects did receive the discharge from the MAE – Direction de la Coopération.

The project has been a success in both schools: the absenteeism rate has decreased  considerably since the implementation of the nutrition program: in the Annual National Assessments (ANA) the learners of both schools have progressed every year and exceed the average with rates of more than 70 %. Both schools have been classified as performing schools by the Gauteng Department of Education.

Viability of the project without the co-financing of the Luxembourg State:

 Mogobeng Primary School: great success of the nutrition program with one warm and healthy meal a day for each learner. The financing is garanteed by local sponsors and the selling of own products  of the mini-bakery and the school gardens, as well as the hiring of the dining room.

Tamaho Primary School: in spite of the challenge of a very deep socio-economical standard in this area, the nutrition program performs very well. The viability of the program is guaranteed due to a recycling project of plastic materials, the selling of own products of the mini-bakery and the school gardens, as well as the hiring of the dining room.

There is one objective reached indirectly by this project: the GDE-Gauteng Department of Education has finally replaced the old ship containers, used as class rooms, by niew prefabs of a high quality and this according to a promise given during our visit on site in March 2012.

The construction of the 28 new classrooms was completed on December 19th, 2014 and the learners could move in on January 8, 2015. Both learners and teachers are excitedabout the new classes, teaching and learning is running smooth and learning is more effective.

Tamaho Primary School January 2015



  • 7th March through 17th March 2012 : project follow-up
  • Mission Objective : project responsibility handover as well as associated tasks to both two schools.Mission Result : very positive, the project is progressing well at both schools, the school lunches are managed
    independently by the respective school director


Mogobeng Primary School

In 2011 the Mogobeng Primary School was awarded the Health Promoting School Prize by the Department of
Social Development, Health, Environmental Inspectors based on the cleanliness of the facilities and hygiene levels
during the preparation and distribution of meals.

Tamaho Primary School

Following a challenging start, the organisation and management of the Tamaho Primary School dining facilities has
been improved a great deal.
The Tamaho nutrition program has now reached the same level as at Mogobeng.
Two teachers take care of the dining room and the bakery,


The gardens have been increased significantly.
About 70% of vegetables consumed at the school are grown in the school gardens.
Excess vegetables are sold mainly to teachers, generating additional income to the school.

During the March 2012 follow-up mission, NP held meetings with the directors, teachers, parent’s association
representatives, parents, students and school dining and bakery staff members. These meetings proved highly

The principal Walter Vukethwele, Cynthia Wald from NP the principal Mrs Aletta Morokoane and deputies
and the deputy Mrs Lindelwan of Tamaho School

  • Absenteeism levels has fallen significantly at both schools
  • Registration levels have increased considerably following the introduction of the nutrition program
  • The dining room provides protection against weather, security and restores dignity to the children
  • The community, Scholl Governing Board and parents are working together


The teachers of Mogobeng :

  • It is difficult to teach children burdened with sadness and hunger; today children are happy and well fed – learning is once again become the top priority in the class room
  • Levels of concentration during lessons has increased
  • Academic results have improved considerably
  • Aggression levels have fallen sharply
  • Different ethnic groups dine together in total harmony.


SGB-School Governing Board :

  • “You changed our children’s life”
  • A warm and balanced meal – that takes a huge burden off the parents mind
  • Unemployment rate in Katelong lies between 65% and 95%
  • Children perform better at school
  • The children are happy again


The parents of Tamaho :

  • Retroviral treatments are more effective when accompanied with a balanced diet. AIDS infected children demonstrate less secondary effects
  • The program is particularly effective for child headed households
  • “The brick dining room has empowered us and has restored our dignity”
  • “The government has failed us. It has been unable to look after those with the greatest needs”
  • They are deeply concerned about the financing needs of the dining facilities when the program expires.
  • They do not trust the government and have little faith in its promises of support.
  • They are totally committed to mobilise all possible efforts to continue the nutrition program

The learners of Mogobeng and Tamaho :
• It is no longer necessary to fight for food: every pupil receives a full meal
• The school remained closed during the South Africa world cup. This was a catastrophe for the children as
it deprived the for a balanced meal for a whole month
• You cannot concentrate on an empty stomach, rendering studying ineffective
• A good education is the only long term solution to break out of poverty

Representatives from the Department of Education : Mrs Radinne (Inspector IDSO) et Mr Silas Bakwadi Thembo
(Planning and Partnership, Department of Education):

  • “The Ministry of Education will ensure that this program continues at both schools”
  • A promise to build brick class rooms at Tamaho has been made


Politicians :Themba Charles Rampai, councillor of district 51, Municipality of Ekurhuleni :

  • “The school is supported by the local community. Consequently, crime levels have fallen significantly at the school.”
  • Supports all initiatives that help the children
  • Assists the schools in finding alterative revenue sources
  • A healthy and well fed child is less of a burden to relatives (elderly grand mothers and aunts in particular)
  • who have taken the orphans in

Advisors play a key role in the communication between the communities they represent and the
municipal authorities by producing a report on each district meeting.
He assists the community in identifying its needs as well as prioritising development areas to be
considered. This report feeds into the planning process of the local municipality.


Transnet Freight Rail: initial Sponsor initial/founder of Tamaho Primary School :

In exchange of community support (less vandalism/theft on trains and rail maintenance support), Transnet
Freight Rail has made 40 containers available which will be converted into 17 classrooms (2 containers of 6 m 2per



  • Official inauguration of the canteen at the Tamaho Primary School on October 8th 2010 :

    Mme Karsandras, inspector from the Ministry of education, inaugurating the canteen

Walter Vukethwele, director of the school, giving a speech, thanking Naledi Projects, the luxembourgish government and Lambano Sanctuary.

As the school teaches in Xhosa, all the students and the teachers were dressed in traditional clothes

The kids had organised a little contest to build a model of the new canteen.

    October 2010: The children tell what has changed now that they have the canteen.

  • April 2010: Mogobeng Primary School received the “National School Nutrition Programme Award“ from the National Department of Education, South Africa. The school won a price of ZAR 60,000 (~6.000 EUR) for the best school nutrition programme in Gauteng Province of South Africa.
  • 18th March 2010: The first lunch was served to the 1,180 students of the Mogobeng Primary School

  • Beginning of 2010: To assure the viability of the project after the official end of the project, a mini-bakery has been installed. It allows to bake bread for the pupils and to sell bread and pastries to the local community in order to create a new source of income. 
  • 3rd November 2009: Official inauguration of the Mogobeng Primary School canteen. The director, Mrs. Marokoane, invited all directors from Katlehong, representatives from the ministry of education, former students, local business people and sponsors of the project and celebrated together with our partner Lambano Sanctuary, with us from Naledi Projects, with all the teachers and most importantly with all the children the inauguration of the canteen under a spring shower. The interesting speeches, the cheerful songs and dances performed by the children as well as the intensive and enriching conservations during the following days convinced us that the future of the project is in good hands.

  • Beginning of November 2009: construction of the canteen at the Tamaho Primary School have started
  • 16th August 2009: The directors of the Tamaho Primary School are happy that the construction starts soon:


Mogobeng primary school: Construction work is almost completed :

dining hall from inside from outside
  • 29th May 2009: Roofing ceremony in the Mogobeng Primary School


14th April 2009: The construction work for the Mogobeng Primary School canteen started.


  • 26th January 2009: The Luxembourgish government (Ministry of foreign affairs) accepts the co-financing of 2/3 of the budget of the project.
  • 26th May 2008: Pharmaciens sans Frontières hands in the project on behalf of Naledi Projects at the ministry of foreign affairs requesting the co-financing of the project.
  • 18th April 2007: Naledi Projects presents the project to Pharmaciens sans Frontières.
  • 3rd April 2007: 2 representatives of Naledi Projects discuss the project with the local project managers (school directors and members of the staff of Lambano) in charge, visit the schools, the existing infrastructure and the township.
  • 28th August 2006: Lambano Sanctuary contacts Naledi Projects requesting support for the school canteen project.