A Jungle Gym for Isihlangusabasha Primary and the Importance of Play!

In the late months of 2020, 10000 STRONG was introduced to another non-profit organisation doing amazing work in the greater Durban area, namely, Community Built Durban (CBD).  CBD and 10000 STRONG have many common interests, including a fierce passion for empowering local communities. In line with this, CBD has recently started implementing some empowering projects in KwaNgcolosi and Embo, situated near the Inanda Dam.

Recently, CBD was fortunate enough to receive a wonderful donation, consisting of a jungle gym and a collection of toys. Immediately, they thought of 10000 STRONG’s partner schools to be the beneficiaries of these donations. So, the renovating and planning began!

10000 STRONG, together with CBD and some very helpful volunteers, repainted and renovated the jungle gym until it was as good as new! One of our partner schools, Isihlangusabasha Primary, has had a jungle gym on their wish list for quite some time and had not been able to secure one until now. So, naturally, they were chosen to receive the jungle gym, which the younger learners would be able to enjoy under the supervision of their teachers.

During the delivery and installment of the jungle gym, a toy corner was also installed for the Grade R learners. Play is an important part of cognitive and social development, especially in young children. The toy corner consisted of many fun activities, such as puzzles, chalkboards, toy kitchen sets, blocks, dolls, cars, and books. All the above stimulate imagination and development, and, of course, they are just plain fun!

Isihlangusabasha Primary is a wonderful school, filled with dedicated educators, and we hope that these exciting items can make the school day even more memorable and fun for learners.

#10000STRONG

Rianka van Antwerpen

Read Read Read

The importance of reading is no secret, it has always been highlighted in the education system. Reading helps to expand knowledge, vocabulary, and understanding. One’s level of literacy also determines their economic and social development.  When your reading ability declines, so too does your ability to learn.

In South Africa, there is a major literacy crisis. A lack of basic reading and writing skills is primarily caused by shortcomings in the education system, as well as a deficit in available resources. Simply put, without books, you cannot read. It is of utmost importance that children are encouraged to read at as early an age as possible. If we can alleviate the issue of illiteracy from a young age, then naturally, the adult literacy statistics will change for the better. Being literate can work towards lifting a person out of poverty, as well as give them more opportunities for employment.

10000STRONG recently hosted a Book Donation Drive, where people could donate pre-loved books appropriate for school children aged 4 to 18 years. An incredible amount of over 350 books were donated. We restored the books by covering them in plastic and created a simple library system for the books to be enjoyed by the learners. Amongst these books were some of our personal favourites, including well-loved books such as Charlotte’s Web, The Famous Five series, and some educational books such as dictionaries and first readers for the younger learners.

These books were donated just after World Book Day, which was held on the 4th of March, to two of our partner schools in KwaNgcolosi, one being a high school and one a primary school. Along with the beautifully restored books, we were also able to donate six custom-built bookshelves, gifted by KS Shopfitters. 

We hope that the little library we created can be enjoyed by learners and teachers for years to come and that this works towards encouraging reading and literacy within these schools.

#10000Strong

Rianka van Antwerpen

A Year Of Change And Opportunity

The start of the new year is usually accompanied by refreshed mindsets, goal setting, ambitions and plans for the year ahead. As we walk into 2021, we approach with a level of unease and uncertainty. Many of us experienced life like we had never known it in 2020 and may be feeling slightly discouraged by the new year, in which the Covid-19 pandemic is still present.

There is opportunity in uncertainty and there is always a chance for successes and new beginnings. 10000 STRONG welcomes the new year, its highs, its challenges, and most of all its room for growth!

We have many exciting projects planned for 2021, and are certain of one thing, that we will approach the year with optimism and continue to strive to make a positive impact on the world around us. As we walk into 2021, 10000 STRONG hopes to address many of the needs identified by our partner beneficiary schools of KwaNgcolosi and provide opportunities for empowerment and employment as we undertake and implement these developmental projects in collaboration with the local community.  

10000 STRONG looks forward to growing and expanding into many spheres where there is room for development and empowerment in the future. We hope that you enjoy following and joining in on our journey to providing 10,000 job opportunities!

We leave you with the words of Maya Angelou “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

#10000Strong

Rianka van Antwerpen

Festive Season Food Hampers

As the festive season approaches, many start gearing up for the holidays by stocking up on presents and cooking mountains of food.  A lucky few receive time off from work and enjoy a period of relaxation, copious amounts of food and much quality time and laughter with their loved ones.

In South Africa, where one of the largest wealth and inequality gaps across the world exists, it becomes easy to forget that not everyone has the same experience during this time of year, especially when we are one of the few lucky ones. In fact, for many the festive season, and all that it comes with, can act as a burden. With primary breadwinners in many families across South Africa taking strain as children no longer receive complementary meals from school, which they usually would, accompanied by being out of work for that time of year. Resources run low and there is no additional support to help provide for the household. 2020, having been an exceptionally different year, saw many workers lose their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, making this particular festive season even harder on some than usual.

The Affinity Group and 10000 STRONG have realised this social issue and decided to help in any small way that we saw possible. As a result, the generous staff from The Affinity Group pulled together to raise funds in order to provide every child from Isihlangusabasha Primary, one of 10000 STRONG’s partner beneficiary schools in KwaNgcolosi, with a food parcel to take home to their families over this particularly difficult festive period.

The parcels consisted of basic food supplies that could assist in taking strain off the families of the 459 learners that attend the primary school. The parcels were delivered just before the schools officially closed for the holiday period. 10000 STRONG received wonderful feedback from the school’s principal and educators, who emphasized the way in which this small gift would help the families of the learners.

Remember that every bit of support given to someone in need goes a very long way this time of year and looking out for one other is essential. As Desmond Tutu had said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 10000 STRONG has identified the value of helping others, especially in times when hardships and inequality prevail more than usual.

Let us be encouraged to be mindful of your blessings and share them where we can.

#10000Strong

Rianka van Antwerpen

An Introduction to #10000STRONG

10000 STRONG has been a project in the making for some time now. The conceptualisation of the idea came about when the founders and managing directors of the Affinity Group, Andrew Portmann and Ryan Hartslief, decided that they were going to create a company offering innovative and value-added services that generated authentic trust, built on ethics, consistency, and quality. The Affinity Group is a company compromised of entities that service a range of local and global industries.

Through this genuine care and passion for people in the workspace, Ryan and Andrew introduced the vision and ultimate goal into the ethos of the Affinity Group to provide over 10,000 South Africans with sustainable employment opportunities.

This vision of providing 10,000 employment opportunities, birthed the idea of #10000Strong, a Non-Profit Organisation, parented by the Affinity Group. Beyond the space of the office, the duo realised that there was more opportunity for employment and development, which could contribute to the greater good of the company. 

In order to get the ball rolling on where 10000 STRONG could initially plant its roots, we sought the guidance of Trish and Gunter Volker, a couple who run New Creations Equipping, a non-profit company. Trish and Gunter are missionaries and life coaches who then introduced 10000 STRONG to the wonderful community of KwaNgcolosi, near the Inanda dam, where they have been involved and operating for many years.

This brings us to where 10000 STRONG is today. A registered Non-Profit Company, which currently functions in the KwaNgcolosi community. 10000 STRONG is currently partnering with and operating within the under-resourced schools of the community and actively working on providing for their needs. 10000 STRONG will always prioritise the empowerment of local community members and seek opportunities to provide employment within the community when undertaking any projects and addressing needs.

As we grow and collaborate with different entities, 10000 STRONG plans to expand into different communities and spaces, where there is a need for developmental support and assistance. We are so humbled by the opportunity that we have to make a difference and we cannot wait to see where this journey of empowerment and collaboration leads to!

#10000Strong

Rianka van Antwerpen