North West based Seneca Partners recently teamed up with The Footprints Foundation to help build a library and pre-school at Meriting Squatter Camp near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Footprints Foundation was set up by Bob Holt OBE. Bob is the chairman of Mears Group and non-executive director of Seneca Partners. The Footprints Foundation works all over the World and aims to tackle the problems and issues facing disadvantaged and vulnerable young and elderly people, and those people with significant health issues.
The South Africa project in Meriting was carried out by a team of Footprints volunteers in partnership with The Winnie Mabaso Foundation which was started by Lisa Ashton MBE in the early 2000s with the aim to support vulnerable and orphaned children in South Africa. The organisation has a home for girls in mid-Ennerdale, South of Johannesburg and runs many other projects at local squatter camps and settlements.
At the desperately poor Meriting site families live in shacks, there is no power and only limited water and sanitation. The recent project has involved two shipping containers being converted into a pre-school and a library. The site will offer the community the opportunity to learn how to read and hopefully be a key turning point in encouraging child education.
Andrew Currie from Seneca said, “We are both delighted and humbled to see how much our small contribution has meant to the small community at Meriting Village. Bob and his team of volunteers do an incredible job every year and we are pleased to have played our own small part this year. We hope now that with the help and guidance provided by the Winnie Mabaso team, the facility will make a real difference and offer children the chance to read, learn and be inspired.”
The library and pre-school at Meriting were officially opened on 1st November by Dame Judith Macgregor, the British High Commissioner to South Africa.