Act 3 Scene 3

“It’s coming from our hearts”


Our day started in the Mandela Park WaSH Facility on a sunny, warm day in Langrug. Our team soon moved to the storage bungalow, or the Wendy House as it is called by the community members, next to the facility to continue our work and talk with our co-researchers.


After a great Friday in Langrug, our team was excited to come back and continue working on the aftercare programme. Our goal for the week was to get the aftercare in a semi-established state, so our co-researchers could start running trials of the programme while we are away on Thanksgiving Break and come back to us with feedback, issues, and suggestions for improvement.

Cast of Characters


Catching Up After the Weekend

Our teams exit the van upon entering Langrug and head into the WaSH Facility. We are greeted by several of our co-researchers, but we quickly realize that we are missing some people. The ladies have no idea where Amanda 1 is, so a couple of them walk to her house to see if she is around. Because she has no cell phone, it is hard to track her down when she does not come to work on time. Additionally, she has been struggling with showing up to work on time and being focused and prepared to work when she does arrive. Khungeka and Zodwa are also missing because they are at the local Pick n Pay, a grocery store down the road in Franschhoek. They should come back to Langrug soon.

While we wait to get everyone assembled, we chat about our weekends. Siyanda asks us what we did and we tell the ladies that we saw a concert for a group called The Soil in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. They are all extremely excited because they really like the group and have a lot of their music on their cell phones. This is surprising to us because we had no idea who the group was before going to the concert. We show them some of our videos and pictures of the concert, which is always fun with the ladies of Langrug! Amanda 1 eventually comes into the WaSH facility with a couple other ladies and everyone laughs at her because she is late and seems like she had too much fun this weekend and is having difficulty this morning. Kostas decides, after waiting a little longer, that he will take the van into Franschhoek to pick up Khungeka and Zodwa. The rest of the WaSH Team decides to start with the meeting since we don’t have much time and want to get a lot accomplished over the next two days.

Setting Up the Weekly Plan

Since it is a Monday we start out with our weekly plan, as always. Nathan writes it out on paper for all everyone to see. We only go over Monday and Tuesday plans, considering we will not be here for Thursday and Friday. Each group has homework that we want the ladies to complete while we are away, but we decide to talk about each assignment in our individual groups. The women will also still need to complete the weekly report in order to receive their stipend. After everyone is filled in on the plans for the next days, we split up into our teams.

Heartfelt Dedication

Our group moves over to the Wendy House, another name for a small shack and what the caretakers have recently been calling the storage bungalow next to the facility, and begins talking about the Operations Manual for the aftercare. Mollie printed a copy of our draft thus far and shares it with the ladies. We go through each section as a group talking about edits and additions. The hours of operation are temporarily changed to start earlier, which sparks a conversation later on about competition with the crèches in the area.

We also discuss payment and whether or not the aftercare will be a charged service. Originally, the plan was to charge parents R50 per month for the aftercare services. Mollie brings up the fact that many children will come to the facility without paying and the ladies agree, after some discussion, that they would not want to turn away kids just because they had not paid. After all is said and done, our co-researchers decide to make the aftercare a free service in order to accommodate and help as many children as possible. Siyanda, who is very dedicated to the project and helping children have a safe space to learn and play, asks the three other ladies in the group to make a start-up contribution of R100 in order to sustain some of the costs the aftercare might have after WPI leaves for the year. They all agree and even say they will add R50 a month should they need extra money. We are extremely impressed with their dedication, especially when Siyanda explains, “It’s coming from our hearts.” While their commitment and selflessness are incredibly admirable, our team does not want the aftercare programme to be a financial burden on the women and their families, especially because all the women are now committed to joining the Savings Group too. Therefore, we discuss with Scott some funding ideas to start the programme.

More Discussions

More Discussions

Discussing and Organizing the Game Checkout

Next we briefly discuss some aspects of the game, equipment, and book check-out. Everyone agrees that if something is stolen, it must be replaced, and that all children will be responsible for bringing back the equipment they borrow. We hope to organize everything the next day so the checkout system can be fully functional when we leave Tuesday afternoon.

Our morning is so filled with discussion and processing, we decide to take a much needed mental break. We munch on some snacks including Cheerios, carrots, dried banana chips, and flavored stick snacks. Amanda 2 begins playing The Soil through her cell phone and we continue showing them pictures and videos from our weekend in the botanical garden. The women have some conversation in Xhosa, which is translated to us by either Amanda 2 or Siyanda.

Sizabantu Aftercare Programme!

After some time we decide to get back to work and focus on advertising the aftercare. A couple weeks ago, Danielle began brainstorming ideas on a brochure. On Friday, she and Siyanda picked out some templates on Microsoft Word. We decide to make a simple flier to start that has some general information to convince parents to consider registering their children. Our first step: deciding on a name for the aftercare! The women toss around a few ideas such as Lilitha (Light), Sinokhanyo (It was dark, and now it is light), Lumanyano (Everyone helps each other), and Sizabantu (We help people). Obviously the English translations are rough, but we understand the concept of each word. The ladies really like Sizabantu, so we officially become the Sizabantu Aftercare! We also decide to include hours of operation (although subject to change), location, and some general information about registration on the flier.

Learning Some Hard Truths

We also discuss the competition the aftercare might pose to the three crèches in Langrug. The ladies have long discussions in Xhosa and translate back to us. They talk about how parents might take advantage of the free aftercare and their children will stop attending the crèches. We also do not want children to be at the facility all day when they should be learning in crèche. During the discussion, some of the shortfalls of crèches in the area, such as reports of child abuse and teachers taking children’s food are shared with us. We sympathize with the women, and encourage them to work against injustice in the community, but we feel upset because there is no easy solution to such problems. As we are in the middle of our conversation, Kostas comes over to tell us the women have a surprise for us and would like us to come to the WaSH Facility. Our team decides we will reconvene after the surprise and talk more about this competition.

Birthday Celebration

In the WaSH Facility, the women are starting to pull items out of Pick N Pay bags. They lay two cakes, cups, apples, soda, and two bottles of wine on the large picnic table in the center of the facility. We are confused as to the occasion, considering the students usually buy cakes when it is someone’s birthday in the working group. The ladies begin singing happy birthday and splashing Reed with water, a local tradition that we have witnessed many times. All of us are laughing since Reed’s birthday was almost a month ago. Mollie takes Heather’s water bottle and begins pouring its contents over Reed’s head, but is soon shown up by Sizwe who arrives with a bucket full of water and tries to splash it over Reed. Immediately Reed jumps up and chases Sizwe out of the facility. The two of them return completely soaked and laughing. The women then begin singing again and we realize it is Khungeka’s birthday today! The water splashing starts again as everyone starts aiming for Khungeka, but soon we are settled down and cutting the cake and apples.

Time for Celebrations

Time for Celebrations

Sizwe explains that the ladies felt bad for missing Reed’s birthday, but also wanted to celebrate Khungeka’s birthday. We are so pleased to see them providing food and drinks for the group and sharing a positive experience together! The next half hour or so is spent eating cake, apples, and drinking soda and wine. We all laugh together and watch Mama Poto, Khungeka, and Siyanda singing and dancing in the middle of the room.

Talking About Grey Water

Meanwhile, Alfred pulls Nathan aside to talk about the recent buildup of grey water near the facility. He has an idea to permanently solve the problem, which is to put wire over the hole leading into the WaSH facility to prevent trash from clogging the area and to also reroute the water around the facility using concrete. We would like to help but are very limited on time and do not want to throw together a haphazard solution, so we decide to let Alfred talk to Scott about this.

Finishing Up for the Day

Once the celebration is over and everyone is full of food, we decide to quickly finish our discussion about the competition with the crèches. WaSH Biz tells us they only have a couple things left to finish up and that they can leave whenever we are ready. Siyanda, Mama Thandi, Amanda 2, and Noloyiso have a long discussion in Xhosa and ask us to go get Khungeka. The five of them wish to have a general body meeting with them, Mama Poto, and the crèche leaders to talk about the relationship the aftercare would have to each of the crèches this Wednesday. Khungeka comes and the five of them continue talk. After a couple minutes, Siyanda says that they feel it would be best to discuss this amongst themselves and with teachers from the crèche without the students. Then they will update us on the decision. We stick around for a few more minutes to get the end of Khungeka’s statement, but quickly exit the storage bungalow afterwards in order to give the ladies a chance for further discussion.

Our team, along with WaSH-Biz, hops in the van and begins heading back to the lodge to get more work accomplished.


Although our day wasn’t as eventful as Friday, we still had a really productive day that gave our team a lot to work on before Tuesday afternoon when we are officially off the clock for the remainder of the week. The dedication and passion our co-researchers demonstrate for our project really shows us how much they want it to succeed and sustain after we leave. We are completely surprised and impressed when the ladies agree to take money out of their own pockets to help the aftercare with startup costs and that they want to provide a free service so they can help as many kids as possible. Although it seems many of our original ideas of the aftercare are changing, we are excited to see where the ladies will take the programme, especially over the trial period this week. We can’t wait for tomorrow when we can officially establish everything and leave the ladies to run the programme!

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