Report from the inauguration on 29 July 1995

Blessed Gérard's KINDERGARTEN

Bishop Mansuet Dela Biyase blessed our kindergarten in Whebede on Saturday 29 July 1995.

The Chairman of the International Committee of the Federated Association of the Order of Malta in the USA, Daniel E. Meehan opened the kindergarten. Luigi Haglich, the contractor who built the kindergarten, handed over the keys to our Financial Curator, Geoff Kalkwarf. Blessed Gérard's Kindergarten was officially opened after more than two years of negotiations and fundraising. The new building can accommodate about 30 children. At the time of the opening, eight children were enrolled in our kindergarten. They are cared for by the educator Miss Veronika Makhosazana Mthethwa and Sr. Irene Zitha OSB from Nqutu, who trained them. In the meantime, two more children have been admitted to our kindergarten. The kindergarten consists of a large group room, a large play and rest room, a combined office and storage room, a kitchen and three sanitary rooms. Only something very important is still missing: a regular water supply. At the moment we only have a rainwater tank, but due to the usual drought it is not a reliable source. The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard is currently considering the possibilities of drilling a well. This would not only ensure a permanent water supply for the kindergarten, but also for the people living nearby.

We would also like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Aktion Dreikönigssingen in Germany, to Mr. Daniel E. Meehan, USA, to Malteser-Hilfsdienst in Germany and to an anonymous donor from Switzerland for their large donations, without which we would not have been able to carry out the construction.

Among the dignitaries who attended the opening were Dr Albrecht Graf von Rechberg, Malteser Hilfsdienst's Aid Coordinator for South Africa, Mr Manfred Schulz, Malteser Hilfsdienst's Regional Director in Bavaria and Mrs Ruby Martin, former Minister of Administration in the State of Virginia, United States of America.

Our Project Coordinator, Mthembeni Conrad Khumalo, the Project Committee (Geoff Kalkwarf, Dr Paul Thabethe and Nokuthula Thabethe) and all active members who helped in any way: A HEARTFELT THANK YOU!