Sometimes we do not quite appreciate the gap between those who have and those who don't - until we see it once again. Last week a few people were privileged to heed the request of a brother and visit his school. Bro Dumisani (Westville ecclesia), invited us to come out and visit the school where he is the Principal.
After meeting his wife (Sis. Nonhlanhla) we followed her through areas of KwaZulu-Natal where we had never been. Soon the tar road gave way to gravel as we continued for over an hour over hills and through valleys.
We were amazed that Bro. Dumisani would travel this far on such poor roads to get to his school every day. The rain was pouring down as we finally arrived and parked our car next to a small rural hut. In the shelter of the building stood Bro. Dumisani, dressed smartly and proudly in his tie as he stood ready with umbrellas.
Finally we reached the main school buildings. There are 3 rows of buildings with each grade having a classroom. The headmaster's office and store room is also a classroom - making it rather cluttered and problematic. Firstly we were struck by the fact that there is no electricty at the school. Even although there is an electrical pole in the property their electricity supply was cut of many years ago because the school could not afford it - little wonder - we discovered that even now the school only gets R10,000 (approx. $1300) for the entire year. This must cover all school expenses (electricty, water, outings, teacher training, etc)
During a period when the school could not afford to lock the school or have a caretaker on the property the school buildings were vandalised. Now many years later all the classrooms have broken and missing windows, and most dont have doors. Unfortunately the small R10,000 budget cannot be used for these items and so they just make do.
We also learnt that their water supply is not reliable and often their is no water for the 200 children. Even although there are water tanks, these too stopped working many years ago and there has been no money to have them repaired.