South Africa: A kindergarten built in 60 days

The “Oppie Koppie Creche” kindergarten located in the township of Prince Alfred‘s Hamlet in South Africa offers space for 80 children. Students of architecture from Aachen, Germany, designed and constructed the buildings with financial support from Henkel.

Supported by Henkel and other sponsors, 30 architecture students from the RWTH University in Aachen have built a kindergarten in the township of Prince Alfred’s Hamlet, some 100 kilometers north of Cape Town in South Africa. The celebration party to mark its inauguration took place in December 2010.

The students designed and planned the buildings for the kindergarten themselves. The first drawings and models for the non-profit-making project were produced in 2009 (as reported in the 2009/2010 issue of Henkel Smile magazine). In spring 2010, the students then flew at their own expense to South Africa in order to take up tools with local helpers in building the kindergarten.

Henkel had every confidence in the ability and diligence of the upcoming architects and was happy to provide financial support through the MIT. The project was initiated by Dr. Jochen Krautter, former member of the Henkel Management Board, who personally supported it both with private donations
and a lot of his own time and effort. There was also assistance from the government program “Black Economic Empowerment” (BEE) in South Africa, which endeavors to promote equality for and among the black and colored majority in the RSA.

Once it was complete, the facility was christened in Afrikaans, and will henceforth be known as the “Oppie Koppie Creche,” which means the nursery on the hill. And it was on this hill outside the main kindergarten building that the official inauguration ceremony was held – with many happy children, proud students and satisfied sponsors in attendance.