Josef Gretsch, a retired businessman from Germany, came to South Africa to escape the European winter months.
While he was here, he was introduced to some schools and non-profit organisations where he started volunteering. He started seeing needs in the community which he wanted to help alleviate. He went back to Germany and spoke to various individuals, and they eventually decided to start a non-profit association called 2MoreSmiles.
Through volunteering, Mr Gretsch came across Tiny Tots Kindergarten in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. The structure of the school was in an unhealthy and unsafe state. The roof was leaking during rainy weather.
It was far from an ideal situation, as the Cape weather is either very hot in summer or extremely cold and wet in winter, and the leaking roof just added to the worsening conditions.
Mr Gretsch and 2MoreSmiles decided to rebuild the roof for the kindergarten, and the roof and building columns were completed on December 8 last year, but the project was incomplete.
When Mr Gretsch returned to Germany, he spoke to various individuals there about the project, who then sponsored the completion of the building.
The keys were handed over to Clara Ruiters, the principal at Tiny Tots, on Monday April 2, and Tiny Tots now has a building which it can call its own.
Pupils have access to running water and ablution facilities in the building which was sorely lacking before. 2MoreSmiles has made a gift of this building to the Sir Lowry’s Pass Village community which will brighten the future for the children.
The interior of the building still needs flooring, painting, kitchen completion and educational materials for the children to use.
For more information about the project, or to contribute in some
way, contact Ms Pienaar at 071 897 9028.