Thinking Inside the Box

A 6m x 2m shipping container, which FCW has proposed to be retrofitted as a resource storage hub.

A 6m x 2m shipping container, which FCW has proposed to be retrofitted as a resource storage hub.














Background: On Tuesday, 3 November, we had our weekly meeting with our project advisors and FCW. The day before this meeting, we had submitted a newly revised project proposal to both our advisors and Nafeesa, so we were eager to hear what they thought about our new project goals.

Setting: FCW Office

Cast of Characters:

FCW: Riedewhaan, Nafessa, Camelita
WPI: Scott, Nicola
WPI Team


This meeting with our sponsor and advisors was held in the large boardroom, and to our surprise, coffee and tea were available in the room to warm us up from the unusually chilly day. Unlike the first meeting where everyone sat where they wanted, we sat in a more “professional” manner, where the WPI team sat on one side, the advisors and Nafeesa sat on the other side directly across from us, and Riedewhaan sat at the head of the table. Before the meeting started, we had briefly written up an agenda, but soon realised that the conversation was taking a path of its own.

A few days earlier, we had written a new proposal for our project. It detailed how the project would work to promote and explore the potential for using an existing space to hold ECD programmes and supplement ECD resource accessibility in Vygieskraal. In doing so, we would talk to various communities that FCW works in to prepare a case study of the effects of the programmes and the willingness of caregivers to attend the various programmes. The day before, Scott and Nicola met with Nafeesa, Riedewhaan, and Camelita to discuss our project objectives. They added to our initial objectives by creating an additional aspect which involved working with other foundations that focus on ECD such as CECD, ELRU, and Grassroots, to analyse and compare the different approaches to ECD in informal settlements similar to Vygieskraal. As a result, FCW and our advisors helped us establish a more defined project direction that will explore the opportunities and challenges that come with using a public space as a resource venue for ECD. The programmes at the Vygieskraal Stadium would serve as a case study for the model, and would be compared to models employed by other ECD organisations. Riedewhaan added to this by proposing the idea of using a shipping container as a storage unit for resources, which the programmes, caregivers, and members of Vygieskraal could have access to. While we were initially a bit confused by how this idea would fit into our project, Nicola and Nafeesa explained that we could plan to integrate the shipping container idea into our newly revised project objectives, and that it would be an additional ECD model for us to explore. The container will be a tangible deliverable for this project, and the potential for implementing this type of resource hub in other areas will be explored in a written proposal that explores different methods of running ECD outreach programmes.

Going into this meeting, we were hopeful that with the help of FCW and our advisors, we would collectively identify more possibilities for our team to pursue in the project.  While at first the ideas that were brainstormed throughout the meeting seemed overwhelming and our team had to ask for clarification a few times, we left the meeting able to identify a multitude of objectives that our team could pursue. The “new” shift in the project turned out to encompass most of what we had already planned for, with the addition of several new ideas that our team is excited about.


We were initially perplexed during this meeting, as it seemed that our project was constantly shifting farther and farther away from our original plan. However, we realised that we may have expected to accomplish too much during the first couple weeks, as many of the things we were confused about were sorted out when we discussed the meeting as a group, separate from our advisors and FCW. Over the past couple weeks, we had felt confused and frustrated – we were ready to get to work and wanted to create something meaningful, but it seemed as though we had been exploring new directions for the project on a regular basis. Even though these shifts had caused some anxiety and tension in our group, we were all very happy and hopeful about the goals of the new project objectives that arose after this most recent meeting. We finally had a good grasp of what we would have to do and where the project could potentially go. It was also exciting that we would hopefully have a tangible product that we could deliver by the end of the term, and that it would hopefully serve as a valuable resource to residents of Vygieskraal and other settlements in the future.