Extension of the playspaces at INJONGO

Due to the large amount of children the INJONGO Educare Center accommodates daily, we decided to extend the playspaces. Together with parents and care givers, we planned the process of converting one other shipping container for now, installing it on site and painting it for the use of the kids.

A second container will follow soon, as well as the roofs and the beautification of the outdoor spaces.

More than a Daycare Center

Today Mavis and her team uses the new facility not only to accommodate around 125 children, but she also opens doors for student’s homeworks, exam preparations and photo workshops, she runs income generating sewing courses for unemployed parents, she sells coffee and snacks, offers the spaces for church services, cultural celebrations and community events. Together with her husband Luzuko she decorated the facility, created additional learning spaces, builds toys, arranged a garden and plans further growth in future.

The whole community benefits from the center and has created a strong sense of identification and pride towards the new facility.

Opening and Hand-over

After an exciting journey the upgrade of the INJONGO Educar Center is finally complete! On Sunday the 6th of October 2013 the new center was officially opened. It provides lots of spacious, colourful playspace for the children and new kitchen and bathroom facilities.

We happily handed the center over to Mavis and her phantastic team!

A warm Enkosi! to all the amazing supporter and funder, who made this project possible!

Off-site Preparations

A set of 4 steel container got converted according to the Matchbox design: large openings ensure high degrees of natural daylight and ventilation, external insulation and shading devices allow thermal comfort in the extreme seasons, and smooth finishes and multifunctional build-ins create a child-friendly atmosphere.

The Matchbox design complies with the National Building Regulations and ECD standards and their structural integrity and fire safety has been approved. The conversions were done with locally sourced materials and 100% local labour.

Thanks to Clive Drude and the amazing DRUCON team, who refinded the Matchbox design with their vast expertise and commitment!

Design Thinking

In Partnership with the City of Cape Town and representatives from the local government a concept for the upgrade of the INJONGO Educare Center has been developed and a vacant site could be secured.

To create the most suitable and sustainable solution for the improvements, the Matchbox team worked in close cooperation with care givers, neighbours and parents. The community played an important role in identifying the specific needs and possibilities within the project and participated actively in all relevant project pases.

The Graduation

21 children from the Injongo Educare Center will enter school next year. For them, a great graduation ceremony was organized with the help of many parents and neighbors.

A church service was arranged and the whole community took part in the festivity with lots of food and fun. The Matchbox team was honored to be invited and to be part of the joyful day.


Due to the tiny budget and a lack of storage, the children of the Injongo Educare Center don’t often have the opportunity to express themselves in a creative way. Many of them never had pens and did not develop the skills of using them yet.

Thanks to donated stationary, the children can now draw, play with colors, explore and learn from each other. On this day, the crèche turned into silence when the children sat down and enjoyed the new materials.

The Starting Point

Encouraged by the situation of the high amount of children who were strolling unattended in the streets of the neighborhood during daytimes, Mavis Ngcongolo opened the doors of her tiny shack on a plot of about 90 sqm in Mfuleni.

Although many parents cannot afford the low school fees, Mavis manages to create a very loving environment and support, protection and daily meals for about 70 young and vulnerable children.

However, she can not employ qualified teacher, provide educational material or allow for the improvement of the building. As the small, insecure, leaking structure does not comply with the national building regulations, her application for registration has been rejected and no governmental grants are accessible for her.