Building Project


New Clubhouse!

For over 5 years we have rented premises in the Soweto slums to run our Clubhouse activities.  But now we will soon move into our own buildings.  We bought a plot in the Soweto slums in May.  It is 15 meter wide facing the "street" and 20 meters long - around 300 m2.  On the drawing above it is impossible to see that the centre will be built in the slums - actually just in the next "street" from the old Clubhouse.  But the next picture leaves no doubt!

5th July 2005:

On the picture above we see the foundation of the classrooms to the right and the "church" to the left - compare with the drawing above. 

14th July 2005:

On the picture below the walls on the classrooms are nearly finished up to the ring beam.  The "church" has gotten its foundation (important for a church...) and the walls are soon ready to come up.  These will be made of iron sheets - nice ones! 

Below we see the classrooms from another angle.  When taking the picture, Jonny is standing where the podium of the church will be.

The picture below shows better the outline of the church.  It is taken when standing inside the corner classroom (the biggest), and the podium of the church will be in the other far corner.

We are really excited to see the buildings coming up.  And we are only a few days from starting on the centre!

Possible crisis!  Someone has been trying to steal our 2 acres land for the centre!  Jonny had to involve our lawyer, and he is sorting things out.  Firstly: The land is ours and nobody can take it away from us.  Secondly: Some opportunists on the ground want money, and threatens to beat up and chase people who come to the ground.  In Kenya, you have to be wise in such cases.  We will see what happens.  Hopefully, this only means a delay of a few days or a week or two.  But we got ourselves a shiver thinking about how much land has been grabbed in Kenya and how difficult these things are...

Meanwhile, work is continuing on the Clubhouse.  And the classrooms are now starting to look like something!

And we are happy to have Richard Taylor as the supervisor for the whole building project.  Below he is seen with Joseph, who is supervising when Ric is not there.

Below left we see one of the workers soak the wood in a special solution to prevent termites eating it.  The wall to the right is a house on the neighbour plot.  The low wall in the middle will be the perimeter wall, and the left, thinner wall is the foundation for the church.

The picture below right shows how the wiring for electricity is prepared.  The walls will be plastered, and only the socket nearly down to the floor will then be visible.

5th August 2005:

The classrooms are about to be finished!

The finishing has nearly been done.  All the floors have been poured (including the church), window frames are in place, most of the doors and most of the roof on the classrooms also.

Below we see the classrooms from the street outside.  The finishing is not done yet, though.  To the left there will be a gate - both for cars and people. 

Below is where the gate will be.  We also see the frame of the church inside.

And on the following pictures we see the outline and frame of the church.  The floor has already been poured.  The first picture shows very well how the compound will be - the classrooms in a L-shaped building to the right, the church to the left.

10th August: Last on the possible crisis: We have sorted out things, and should be ready to start building the centre around the 18th!

13th August 2005:

When up to 100 children are gathering, toilets are important!  Below they are constructing them.  We will have one for the girls, one for the boys, and one for the staff and visitors.  In addition, we will have a wash-room with a shower.  The first picture shows a couple of the the inner partitions coming up, while the second shows the outer wall coming up.

Details are important!

Now we are soon ready for the pavement stones to be laid all over the compound!

Soon ready outside also!

16th August 2005:

Not so much progress in two-three days, but some details:

The toilet is approaching completion. 

The whole compound will have pavement stones! 

The environment in the slums is not exactly promising for the young ones.  Just outside the new Clubhouse, rivers of sewage and garbage run on both sides of the road.  We channel these rivers passed the Clubhouse and put a lid on. 

That way, the children, their parents and visitors coming to the Maisha Mema Clubhouse will find it relatively nice even outside on the road.  Let us hope this can motivate even other owners in Soweto to do something of the same!

22nd August: Today we started digging trenches for the perimeter wall on the centre!

25th August 2005:

Now the four "departments" of the toilets are clearly visible.  The far left one is the wash room.  Doors and roof are missing.

The church is nearly ready!  And the pavement stones are in place!

We had a "Grand Opening" of the New Clubhouse on 22nd September!  See pictures here!

Our slogan is: «Help us to make a change in a child’s life!»  We sincerely believe we can do this much better by having our own centre.  In helping us realising this, you also contribute to a positive change of not only one, but many children in Kenya!


If you want to know more about this project, or have any questions, please feel free to write to us!  E-mails:

NB!  To see the "old" Building project page (the centre we will start building in July 2005)  -  click here.

And if you want to know how the plot for our new Clubhouse looked like before we started building - check it out here!



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