Dayspring Progress
Dayspring Children’s’ Village Project Progress Reports
 
It was Ruth’s vision many years ago to assist Dayspring Children’s’ Village in South Africa by building a toilet block and other amenities.  This vision is now a reality thanks to a Rotary Global Grant and a lot of work by people in two countries.  Here are copies of updates from Principal Kim on the almost completed work.
 
 
 
Dear Rotarians
 
I first want to apologise for the late report.  It is now the first Monday of the month and in Australia time, it's probably the middle of the night!  I am sorry.    We started school in beginning of Feb with 86 children rotating in 2 groups; 1 per week.  
 
We are completely done with the inside of the Hostel toilet block and the children have been enjoying the beautiful new facilities, Thank you.  The outside needs gutters and fascia but then it’s done!!  It looks great and I can't wait until you can all come and see them.  The class toilets are very close.  Today we are putting on the first coat of paint (primer is done) and 2nd on ceilings.  The tiling is complete except the verandah.  The electrics are also done.  We are still waiting on the plumber... I am on him to come finish but he promises with no result.  I will keep on him this week every day!   Once the plumbing is installed, we will tidy up any paint or tiles they mess up and the inside should be finished. 
 
The rain has delayed our tank stand and tanks being erected and also the delivery and installation of our big 21500 conservancy tank.  We had pretty much a full month of rain.  The conservancy tank pit keeps filling up with water!  However, great news is that 2 weeks ago we had a few dry days and we were able to pour the concrete slab for the tank to sit on so that was a huge breakthrough for us.  
 
  We are truly nearly there.  The beautiful rain has caused delays but we have continued to finish the toilets.  By the end of this month (I hope even mid-month) we should be completed, weather and plumber permitting.  The filling in of the big conservancy pit will be a big job as we cannot use our soil to backfill because it has too high of clay content so we need to mix sand and a percent of cement (which will take time) to back fill and stamp it down every so many cm.  But as soon as the tank can get here and installed, I plan to hire extra workers if need be to get it done as quickly as possible.
 
   I have attached a thank you from the house mother and kids who use the hostel toilet and some pics.  
 

Kind regards
Kim
 
 
April 7th.
 
Dear Rotarians
 It has been a busy month with our primary goal of getting the 21500L conservancy tank in the pit and the pit backfilled.  As I mentioned in earlier reports, we dug the pit last year when the excavator was on the property to dig trenches for all the pipes.  We have had a record amount of rain and the big pit spent much of its time looking like a swimming pool!  We finally had a dry week in Feb where we could get back into the pit to clear out the soil that eroded into it and then get the concrete platform poured.  The day after the concrete  went in, it started raining.  This time the rain helped to cure the slab.  A week later when the tanks were to arrive we had a rain storm that filled the pit again!  We finally took delivery of the tanks at the start of March.  I have sent pics via we transfer to Saul and David to share with everyone.  I have included a little video of how they were put into place.  We offloaded each one by hand and then lowered each section into the pit by tying the tank to a rope and the other end to the delivery truck and slowly lowering it into the pit!  The guys spent most of March backfilling the pit by hand; it took 42cu of sand.  They had to mix a certain amount of cement to the sand before they dumped it in and then would hand stomp the mixture.  We did have a few days of rain this month which helped to settle the soil.  We also got the grey water tank pit nearly full and the pump and pipes installed.  The plumber came to install the fixtures, however, the company that was hired to build our tank stand has had all sorts of challenges, but he promises to be at Dayspring next week.  
The guys will spend this week installing gutters, finishing painting, and cleaning up the tile.  Before we use the tank, we need to pump out the 21 500L of water required to fill the conservancy tank as it was backfilled.  We will install a few irrigation points in order to use the grey water.   We need to do a bit more beam filling, screed the steps, grout the tiles on the veranda and (beside waiting on the tank stand and tank so we can have access to water) we are done!!  This week coming is a short week due to the public holiday, but I am trusting the majority of the work to be done by the following week and the guys who are 'spare' will begin the backfilling of the class block foundation that we started when we put down the foundation of the toilet blocks.  The plumber has a few smaller items such as pedestals for the sink that we are still waiting on but the actual plumbing is all in.   It has been a long journey and we are looking forward to using the class toilet blocks.  
 
   We had one of our former students ask to come and spend his school holidays with us so we put him to work clearing a little area of bush where we will put a memorial garden for Ruth and Francois.  He worked hard and did a great job.  There is still some landscaping of sorts that needs to be done.  We will put a few benches in the garden. 
 
 
 We have had two other of our former students working the past few months as well.  One is a 3rd year engineering student at Uni.  Due to COVID classes being online he spent the end of last year and the first 3 months this year learning the trade!  He was able to include it in some of his vac work requirements so that was a great blessing also.  The other young guy matriculated last year and will begin his course of study in diesel mechanics in a couple of weeks.  He has also gained incredible experience during his time with us.  We only have 2 of the 'trainees' left from our original four and they have become so proficient they are often given a task and left to do it on their own.  Both are interested in furthering their career in construction.  It has been a great learning experience for all the guys who were 'labourers' on this project. 
 
 I am truly confident that we will be done with all the work on the toilets by the end of this month (hopefully mid-month).  Saul and I have been discussing a 'smaller' grand opening of the toilet block when school starts again after the holidays in early May.  I am still hoping to have a donor thank you and much bigger splash later in the year, but with COVID, we felt it is best to have the Rustenburg Kloof Rotary cut the tape and then we will see  as the year goes on.  
 
We trust you are pleased with the quality and look of the toilet blocks.  They are not fancy, but they are kid 'rugged' and built to a very high standard.  
Thank you again for all the support!
Blessings to you all
Elijah, Kim and Dayspring family
 
 
 
 
         
 
 
April 21st.
 
Well, the end of April has come and gone and we are still just a little of this and a little of that left.  Its cleaning up bricks and getting paint spats off.  A few last finishes on the gutters and a last-minute decision to put outside ceiling board on the veranda due to the birds already making nests on the rafters and messing all over the tiles.   I have told the guys whatever is not done by the end of this week 8 May will be unpaid finishing. They actually have been working straight out; honestly, we rarely have to speak to them, especially the head builder in terms of the guys working.  It just seems that when I go there and see the 'last few items' to do, then I see a few more.  
 
We have 3 tanks on back order but have made a plan and have got all the plumbing working.  we are pleased overall with the work that has been done.  We trust you will be also.  Our biggest 'nightmare' was truly that conservancy tank and all of its challenges, but we are so grateful to have it properly installed and ready for use. The guys did a great job of putting erosion control in place around the grey water tank area and the conservancy tank area.  We had our first hectic rain since the tanks were installed and there was no erosion or movement of the soil from the area.  
 
I will send through pics on we transfer to David and Saul to share.  We have discussed a small grand opening for now until COVID is less and then we can see about something bigger in time.  The hostel children have been using their toilet since last year as it was the first one finished.  It has been a tremendous blessing to all the little children who stay there. Thank you.
Blessings

Kim