It has been up and down last few weeks at the Bulungula Incubator, though the general trend has been very positive.
Getting a principal for the school has proved a little more difficult than expected, due to hitches in the formal process and a good few misunderstandings. We are tackling the stumbling blocks at a policy level, as an excellent school is reliant on an excellent principal and we have realized that we can’t have been the only school to have stumbled in this process. Our experiences have really highlighted how very important it is to build the capacity of our School Governing Body so that it can truly act as a representative body for the village and the school. With this in mind we are currently in communication with Fundani Nonke, and excellent capacity building NGO based in Mtata that works with school governing bodies. We are hoping to get them on board to work with us as soon as possible.
On the upside, Anna met in Somerset West with the architect and green-builder, who work as a team. They are experts in working with community processes, and with local materials and they are as excited as we are about the project. If all goes well we could have a school by the end of next year.
Another huge plus is that Old Mutual has supplied the BI with an excellent laptop. Dave, Liesl and Anna have all been vying for space on the Bulungula lodge laptop. Getting up to make a cup of coffee has become a dangerous exercise, as it probably means losing your access. We have all learned to grab any gap. Old Mutual has expressed interest in funding other BI projects, and we are hoping we can work out a productive relationship for the future.
Otherwise, we had a fruitful board meeting on the 26th October and we are very busy writing proposals, meeting, marketing, and fundraising. Craig, who as a volunteer set up the garden projects, is currently refining plans for the continuation of these projects, and initiation of others. On fundraising, Paygate (the system which will allow us to take online credit card donations) should be live by Monday (5 November) you may even be able to hold your breath on this one. Getting this set up has proved to be almost as much of a process as getting a new principal!