For over 5 years we have
rented premises in the Soweto slums to run our Clubhouse
activities. But now we will soon move into our own
We bought a
plot in the Soweto slums in May. It is 15 meter wide
facing the "street" and 20 meters long - around 300 m2.
On the drawing above it is impossible to
see that the centre will be built in the slums - actually
just in the next "street" from the old Clubhouse. But
the next picture leaves no doubt!
picture above we see the foundation of the classrooms to
the right and the "church" to the left - compare with the
picture below the walls on the classrooms are nearly
finished up to the ring beam. The "church"
has gotten its foundation (important for a church...)
and the walls are soon ready to come up. These
will be made of iron sheets - nice ones!
Below we see the classrooms from another angle.
When taking the picture, Jonny is standing where the
podium of the church will be.
The picture below shows better the outline of
the church. It is taken when standing inside the
corner classroom (the biggest), and the podium of the
church will be in the other far corner.
We are really excited
to see the buildings coming up. And we are only a
few days from starting on the centre!
crisis! Someone has been trying to steal our 2
acres land for the centre! Jonny had to involve
our lawyer, and he is sorting things out. Firstly:
The land is ours and nobody can take it away from us.
Secondly: Some opportunists on the ground want money,
and threatens to beat up and chase people who come to
the ground. In Kenya, you have to be wise in such
cases. We will see what happens. Hopefully,
this only means a delay of a few days or a week or two.
But we got ourselves a shiver thinking about how much
land has been grabbed in Kenya and how difficult these
Meanwhile, work is
continuing on the Clubhouse. And the classrooms
are now starting to look like something!
And we are happy to
have Richard Taylor as the supervisor for the whole
building project. Below he is seen with Joseph,
who is supervising when Ric is not there.
Below left we see one
of the workers soak the wood in a special solution to
prevent termites eating it. The wall to the right
is a house on the neighbour plot. The low wall in
the middle will be the perimeter wall, and the left,
thinner wall is the foundation for the church.
The picture below
right shows how the wiring for electricity is prepared.
The walls will be plastered, and only the socket nearly
down to the floor will then be visible.
5th August 2005:
classrooms are about to be finished!
The finishing has
nearly been done. All the floors have been poured
(including the church), window frames are in place, most
of the doors and most of the roof on the classrooms also.
Below we see
the classrooms from the street outside. The
finishing is not done yet, though. To the left
there will be a gate - both for cars and people.
Below is where
the gate will be. We also see the frame of the
And on the following
pictures we see the outline and frame of the church.
The floor has already been poured. The first
picture shows very well how the compound will be - the
classrooms in a L-shaped building to the right, the
church to the left.
Last on the possible
crisis: We have sorted out things, and should be ready
to start building the centre around the 18th!
13th August 2005:
When up to 100
children are gathering, toilets are important!
Below they are constructing them. We will have one
for the girls, one for the boys, and one for the staff
and visitors. In addition, we will have a
wash-room with a shower. The first picture shows a
couple of the the inner partitions coming up, while the
second shows the outer wall coming up.
Details are important!
Now we are soon ready
for the pavement stones to be laid all over the compound!
Soon ready outside
16th August 2005:
Not so much progress
in two-three days, but some details:
The toilet is
The whole compound will
have pavement stones!
The environment in the
slums is not exactly promising for the young ones.
Just outside the new Clubhouse, rivers of sewage and
garbage run on both sides of the road. We channel
these rivers passed the Clubhouse and put a lid on.
That way, the children, their parents and visitors
coming to the Maisha Mema Clubhouse will find it
relatively nice even outside on the road. Let us
hope this can motivate even other owners in Soweto to do
something of the same!
Today we started digging trenches for the perimeter wall
on the centre!
25th August 2005:
Now the four "departments"
of the toilets are clearly visible. The far left
one is the wash room. Doors and roof are missing.
The church is nearly ready! And the pavement
stones are in place!
We had a "Grand Opening"
of the New Clubhouse on 22nd September!
See pictures here!
slogan is: «Help us to make a change in a child’s
sincerely believe we can do this much better by having
our own centre.In
helping us realising this, you also contribute to a
positive change of not only one, but many
children in Kenya!
If you want to know more about this project, or have
any questions, please feel free to write to us!
NB! To see the "old" Building
project page (the centre we will start building in July
2005) - click here.
And if you want to know how the
plot for our new Clubhouse looked like before we started building -
check it out here!