Staff and pupils at Holy Cross Primary School saw their dream come true when they opened the doors to their new library on Saturday, January 25.
The library is named in honour of pupil Liyabona Mbaba, 7, who was killed in a minibus taxi crash in July (“School remembers boy killed in crash,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, August 9, 2019).
The school and various foundations have been working on the library since the end of 2018 but experienced many stumbling blocks along the way.
In February last year, a massive fire ravaged parts of the school, causing major structural damage. The room where the new library was to be located was also damaged (“Overwhelming support for gutted school,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, February 14, 2019).
Then late last year in December, when the new library was nearly completed, a leak in the ceiling caused a minor setback.
PrincipalNomthandazo Zweni thanked all the organisations which supported them, including the Otto Foundation, The Bookery, Kamvalethu Foundation, the Making an Immediated Difference Foundation, the Jannie Mouton Foundation, the Holy Cross Catholic Church which is the owner of the building, and various private enterprises that have come to their aid to finish the new library.
“Our vision for this school is to get our pupils reading out there, exploring ideas and
getting new information,” she said.
Grade 7 pupil Sisipho Ndamane is very happy about the new library opening. She says it would help her and her schoolmates with their school work.
“It’s a very interesting place to be and we love it as a school,” she says.
CEO of the Otto Foundation, Zephne Ladbrook, paid tribute to the school, saying even though they experienced obstacles and disasters, they remained focused on getting their new library.
“In time we hope this environment can expand to support reading support programmes, e-learning programmes and this library will continue to be a success as long as reading becomes a lifestyle,” she said.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer says it is wonderful that they opened their new library and the department would like to try and open libraries at all their schools though it’s not always easy.
“I would like to thank the donors and partners who have assisted the school with the library. It’s a beautiful facility and the education department relies a lot on partnerships with private and public sector to assist schools,” she said.