While the new, somewhat shaky school building took shape a kilometre away, teacher Bridgit welcomed the pupils to the new term at the old school – the termite infested one. The atmosphere was relaxed and nobody seemed to know how many children would show up, but they were sure the number would increase exponentially as the week progressed, and as parents knew they could not afford the fees/supplies/uniforms at other schools.

Of course, that’s why they come to Shalom Academy – and why we’re here.

The fundis – fuelled by Robina and neighbour Elizabeth’s cooking – finished the frame and began fitting iron sheeting to the walls and roof. The sheets gave a little shade, very welcome in the blistering heat.

Meanwhile, local artist Elvis painted the school signs to be placed on the roadway and at the school entrance, and Vitalis got to grips with his new camera and solar charger – donated by trustee John Entwistle.

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