The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s School of Interior design has a social responsibility initiative that was created several years ago.  The aim is to allow the students to get practical experience over a time frame of 2 weeks, while preparation and organisation was key in ensuring success before the hands-on part of the project starts.

The group of 15 students were divided into 3 groups and each assigned to a specific area in the KK Ncwana School, which is only for grade R-4 learners and is situated in Bethelsdorp.  Ares identified were the library and two grade 3 classes.  The students had to investigate several aspects of grade 3 level learning and also incorporate it into the project.

As mentioned, there was a need to make the school more safe, and also more functional.  Many of the doors and window couldn't close, and most doors couldn't lock.  There were no curtains, and sun streamed into the interior making the classes very hot.  No shelves or cupboards in the classes made it difficult  to store books without damage.  All had to be considered by the students before they could decide on a final design solution.

A major concern in the school was the library.  Before the project started, the library consisted of a few books, and shelving that was made up of tables stacked on top of each other.  We thus paid special attention to timber, ironmongery, screws, handles, shelving brackets, multiplugs etc.  

It was an incredible privilege to be part of the development of the school, and the well-being of the children and the immediate surroundings.