Wednesday, 29 July 2015

#PandaCrew & Ledibohong Revamp

#Pandamonium

Ledibohong Primary School Revamp

A quick overview:
Situated about 19km out of Sasolburg.
53 Children.
Grades 1 to 6.
3 Teachers.
One functioning toilet.
No educational sports equipment.
Broken desks.
Broken chairs.

And if you know anything about the #PandaCrew, we have this motto.
#NoOneGetsLeftBehind

And so to cause some true #Pandamonium, we set out to change the lives of these children and teachers at this primary school.

Along with the Sasolburg Methodist Church (SMC) we started with probably the biggest project that we have ever considered taken on. Where to start and who to contact? I must say, I usually swim best when I get thrown in the deep end.

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PandaCrew departs from Johannesburg after Birthday celebrations.

So Thurday - 23 July 2015, close to midnight, the #PandaCrew set out out to Sasolburg from Pretoria as to ensure that we get an early morning start.
Arrival in Vanderbijlpark - 01:30
Bedtime - 02:30
Wake up - 04:30

Yes, that is very little time in sleep mode. But alas, we managed to get ready. Whilst laying in bed that morning we heard thunder and that was followed by some lightning. NO! This was not supposed to happen today. The weather report - Cold, Wet, Rainy, Windy. All on a Highveld Winter's day. We decided that nothing was stopping us today and that the #Pandamonium sure would continue.

PandaCrew arrives at the SMC looking pretty good on 2 hours of sleep

Off we go to the SMC to meet up with volunteers that would be helping us out at the school. People slowly started arriving and the more people arrived, the more daunting the weather seemed to become. But, this was not going to stop us. We loaded pallets, paint, school posters, clothing & stationery into the cars, bakkies and trailers with the rain coming down on us.

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Sebastian with volunteers at the SMC

Sorting through the donations of stationery.

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Spot the coffee amongst the donations of stationery

Still sorting through the stationery

PandaCrew with the Crew from Kwêla


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Time to load up all the Plascon paint



Later on these pallets are transformed into shelves

8:45 - We all jump into cars and head off to the school. As we drove, it is as if we are travelling into the storm. The ominous clouds seem to be exactly where we are headed.

Arriving at the school was such an exciting experience. You could see the children's heads poking out over the windows to see who had just arrived and suddenly you could hear the excitement of the children as they started making noise when the convoy of 20 cars pulled in at the school.

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PandaCrew arriving in a classroom

The children start singing as the PandaCrew arrives

(Still raining)

Gathered in the 'school hall', Barry and Sebastian welcome everyone and explained how things will be done and who will be doing what.

Much to my surprise, Barry had arranged that the school children all sing Happy Birthday to me (my birthday was the day before, 23 July) and this is when the first bit of emotion for the day had started.

Split into groups and assigned classrooms, we were ready for the #Pandamonium that was about to happen. You could feel everyone in the room was ready to make things happen. 

I know Barry got a bit emotional at this point. (We all actually did)


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Lloyd & Johann

We had to head out to town to find our last supplies that we needed to get the #Pandamonium going. And so we went straight to Builders Warehouse in Vanderbijlpark and we need to thank the Manager Frank for giving us an extra 10% discount on our purchase.

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Jacob, Lloyd, Damian & Johann head off to Builders Warehouse

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The PandaCrew with Frank the Manager at Builders Warehouse in Vanderbijlpark

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Loading up Louis's car with our new supplies

Everywhere people were painting walls, window frames & desks. (Just a quick word on the paint... ALL our paint for the day was sponsored by PLASCON!)

Off loading Plascon paint


Painting with Brushes







Henk (a faithful twitter follower) was there as our carpenter for the day and spent the whole day repairing desks and chairs and building new shelves for the classrooms.

Henk Langehoven starts dismantling pallets

Sanding down old desks




Desks getting a new coat of paint

The rain stopped. (I had tweeted #PrayingForAMiracle earlier that morning... I think it may have been working)

Simone and Morrie from Kime Karate joined in the #Pandamonium and had the children out on the grass getting physical and doing some basic karate movements. You could see that they absolutely loved doing this and they were very enthusiastic with their punches and kicks.




Time for some Karate
Morrie Swart & Simone Megan Roig after a face-painting session.

What is a day at a Primary School without getting to entertain the children and play some games with them? 

Sebastian playing ball with the children


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Lloyd & Sebastian with a few photobombers

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Barry Swart with the 2 little Diva's

We were very lucky to have the current Mr South Africa, Armand Du Plessis join us at the school for a part of the day and help us make sure that #NoOneGetsLeftBehind.






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'Tannie Monica' from the SMC ensured that everyone had something warm to eat on the cold day and she had many helpers to get all the food prepared for the children and volunteers.


We had Louis Kruger from Schindlers Attorneys out with us creating #Pandamonium and they ensured that we would be hydrated all day.




I think the most exhilarating part of my day was getting to paint the Grade R classroom. All colourful and bright, a beautiful classroom that will be filled with some of the most amazing educational material.



Janus & Kiara getting dirty with the purple paint


So, finally we can let the cat out of the bag. We are extremely grateful that the Afrikaans television program, Kwêla, that features on KykNet spent the entire day with us and documented our efforts and progress. We will most definitely keep you posted on when the piece is set to air on television! 




If you do not know who the Flo_Band is, then you need to go and find them on Facebook and Twitter now. Lead vocalist, Florian Gallant was there with us all day working hard. (This amazing guy spent the day out in the wet and cold weather the whole of Friday, knowing that he needed to play a concert on Saturday night. Now that's #Pandamonium!)


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Flo giving us a Thumbs-up

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Flo just being his crazy self out in the cold

Some of the special people that played a very big role in making this day 1 of the our project a great success.



These are the children that we were able to help.
These are the faces of the children whose lives we are changing.
These are the faces of the children whose futures look a little bit brighter.
These are the faces of the children who will change the future South Africa.









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After the day had ended and we returned to the SMC, we were all rather emotional about the day that had passed. It was right here at this moment that reality had only hit us. We had all been so busy for the entire day that we didn't have much time to actually reflect on our actions. It was now that we really understood the magnitude of the events of the day and just how amazing it was. 

PandaCrew finally relaxing
A few special mentions are very important and the #PandaCrew wants to thank a few people. Without these people, we would not have been able to make such a big impact at the Ledibohong Primary School. So Thank You! We really appreciate everyone of you and your contribution to the #PandaCrew.

Sponsors & Donors:

Barnel Designs: Oliver Nelson & Charl Barnard
Beverly Draper
Gregory John Stoltz
Henk Langehoven
Jacob Crafford Burger
Jordan Griffiths
Louisa Bruwer
Lynette Brunt
Morrie Swart
Plascon: Patrick Seager
Schindlers Attorneys: Louis Kruger
Sean Howe
Simone Megan Roig
Tannie Monica: SMC
Wendy Loots


We would like to thank People's Healthcare Providers for being our primary sponsor for the Ledibohong Primary School Revamp Project. Without the efforts of Damian Taylor and the rest of the PHP team, that was there to assist us, very little would have been possible.
We look forward to working with you in the future and we hope that we can still change many lives together and make sure that #NoOneGetsLeftBehind.

For more information on PHP, please check them out and show them some serious #PandaLove like they have shown us.



Twitter: @PHPWellness
Facebook: People's Healthcare Providers
Web: www.phcp.co.za

We are far from finished with this project and it will be an ongoing project of ours for a long time to come. If you want to get involved, or want more information on the #PandaCrew and the projects that we are involved with and how you could get involved and help us make sure that #NoOneGetsLeftBehind drop me a mail: lloyd@pandacrew.co.za

So on that note. Now it is time to to go on over to all of our social media platforms and show us some #PandaLove

Web: www.pandacrew.co.za
Facebook: PandaCrew
Twitter: @_PandaCrew_
Instagram: @_pandacrew_

Join in with conversations on social media using: #PandaCrew
#Pandamonium
#PandaLove

Thanks to our very own Barry Swart for the amazing photographs taken on the day and to check out more of his skill, check it out at www.barryswart.co.za

Oh... Keep your eyes peeled. We have some brand new apparel coming your way very soon!