Although Coffee Bay is a rural place, there are still cars, taxi’s and trucks that use our roads daily. As the December holidays descends on us, so the traffic increases. During this period, children as young as 3 were running the risk of being knocked over as drivers struggle to see little kids in their mirrors. We decided that there needs to be a children’s playground so that they did not have to play in the street.
High school students from Coffee Bay are given bursaries to studay at the South African College of Tourism in Graaff Reinet. These are one year bursaries that offer training in Hospitality Mangement. The first graduates of the programme, Nompumelelo and Luleka of the class of 2010, secured themselves jobs at Coffee Shack Backpackers in Coffee Bay and Yonela began working at the National Zebra Park in Graaff Reinet.
Thobile “Noguarda’ and Lukholo Marhenene are 2 brothers, aged 16 and 14, who are part of a child-run household, in Mawotsheni lalli (village), 8km north of Coffee Bay. Mawotsheni is one of the poorest lalli’s in the region, with an incredibly high unemployment rate. Thobile and Lukholo live with their 18 year-old brother, Ninti, and their 15 year old cousin, Mbulelo.
This is a fund which sponsors local students to complete their grades 10 to 12 at St Johns College, an academic high school in Mthatha, a city 100km west of Coffee Bay. Due to our rural education system not being on par with the education offered in the cities, we are trying to increase the number of students from our area to have the opportunity of gaining a good grade 12 (matric) result and attending university.
This is our newest and most exciting project under Sustainable Coffee Bay. After working on this project for 3 years, we opened the red and pink stripey door of our 5m rondawel on the 15th of February 2010 with our first 13 children. Our indoor environment has allowed the children to develop wonderfully, and our outdoor environment has a super veggie garden which has provided us with a healthy lunch daily.
This fund was originally called the Pato Desk and Chair Fund, but since we furnished the whole of Pato JS School and 2 classrooms at Coffee Bay JS School, we have assisted various other local schools with burglar bars for their computer classrooms, donations towards student excursions etc. There are still schools in our area where children are being taught outsides, as there are not enough classrooms. In the classrooms, there are still children sitting on the floor and we are working towards eradicating that. We believe that a desk and chair should not be a privilege for a scholar, but a right.
Fanekhaya Lili is a 25-year old guy from Mount Packard, a rural lalli (village) about 15km west of Coffee Bay. He is a very academically minded guy, who got a C for maths in grade 12 and 3 distinctions in his 1st semester at university – WOW! He is self-motivated with a definite hunger for further education, especially in the Mechanical Engineering field. Due to no support or sustenance, he had to leave university in 2007. He is exceptionally keen to complete his National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.
This is a basket in the lounge area of the Coffee Shack Backpackers, where guests are able to leave behind items that they no longer require, or that can’t fit into their backpacks. Once the basket is full, we decant the items until we have about 20 black bags. We fill boxes with equal amounts of items and when we have between 70 – 100 boxes, we plan a lalli (village) drop-off. Due to the extreme poverty in our region, these drop-off days are real highlights in the lives of our communities.