During their school hours at Oslo Handelsgymnasium (OHG), Thea A. Sorensen and Liv Maria Haugen started a school fund-raising project to raise funds for the construction of a school in Natal. They have also been involved in Impande’s trips to Natal to see how the funds were used. Thea is now studying law at Oslo University (UiO), while Liv Maria is finishing up her last year at OHG.

Never forget their faces

During this tour Thea and Liv Maria also got the chance to visit a couple of Impande’s kindergartens. The faces they met there have been difficult to forget. The faces of poor and neglected children made strong impressions on these women and prompted the question: What else can we do to help?

Started their own fund-raising campaign to build a new kindergarten

Thea and Liv Maria received their next project from Impande, Zimeleni pre-school which is home to 31 children. They use a shed made of corrugated steel in a remote and poor area in southern Natal.

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Thea and Liv Maria started their own fund-raising campaign on Facebook in October 2015. First they challenged their closest friends and family to contribute to the cause. For Christmas they asked for gifts to the Zimeleni project instead of gifts for themselves. And finally, they appealed to a NOK 5 coin-rolling campaign on their school’s Facebook page. The VIPPS smartphone app has been used frequently during this campaign. There has been meaningful action, they say, but the anxiety of not succeeding has been following them as well.

On January 1, 2016, Thea and Liv Maria wrote the following on their Facebook page: “It’s a wonderful feeling to now be able to say that we have collected enough funds to build Zimeleni kindergarten! Last night the remaining funds arrived in our account, and we have now collected a grand total of NOK 30,000 (£ 2,400).

The kindergarten is now being built and will be finished construction later in the spring.

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Zimeleni kindergarten is being constructed by a local contractor with a great joint effort by the parents and unemployed locals at the grassroots. Thea and Liv Maria’s funds cover the costs for the necessary building materials. Moreover, play structures will be installed outside the kindergarten when the building is finished. This is how Impande works. By mobilising people at the grassroots to build up their own communities, you can achieve a great deal with only limited funds.

A group women from Skien has also made blankets for the children. It can be very cold in the highlands of South Africa in the winter.

Now it’s your turn!

Will you take the challenge and build a kindergarten?

Impande has identified approximately 50 other shacks which are currently serving as kindergartens in the Ugu district. Your efforts are very much appreciated and welcome!

Thea and Liv Maria raised £ 2,400 for an entire kindergarten through their Facebook page. Others have raised funds for a whole kindergarten in conjunction with birthday celebrations, jubilees, and other life events.

Now it’s your turn! Please contact Impande’s leader, Rolf Olsen at  Rolf@ro-uv.no. He will send you an info package for a kindergarten which needs your support!

This post is also available in: Norsk