Our former education minister, Naledi Pandor stated that nearly 5 million people are illiterate, another 4.9 million were functionally illiterate-people that is nearly 10 million people in SA. Libraries are the lifeline to our next generation, creating hope for them and grooming them.
To help combat one of our country’s biggest problems, a dynamic team of three Kuba, Allesio and Mike who form part of AOJ (Architects of Justice) is proud to announce a joint venture with McWeiler Library and have launched The SEED Project. This initiative is to build libraries in schools, unlike usual libraries.
“Every school needs a library as it plays an important role to create an exciting learning environment for our children and the society as a whole. We wanted to help make reading a pleasurable experience, for the children to be inspired and a space to access innovative thinking. We have done this through incorporating colours, shapes, pictures and stripes”. Says Kuba from AOJ
The construction took about 4 months to build. The AOJ team used shipping containers as their chosen source of material because they were the easiest to transport and because there was a recycling benefit in them too. AOJ retrofitted insulation throughout with the use of cross ventilation and passive cooling so that the space inside is comfortable without adding additional running costs for the school.
The AOJ teams says that the containers were also cost effective but for future school libraries, that are currently being planned, they are looking at other modular construction options or similar in meterage and is more versatile.
“We would like to expand to a number of schools in all areas, but funding remains one of our biggest obstacles”, says the AOJ team.
Early childhood development is critical for children to reach their full potential and literacy skills are needed in all aspects of life. Learning areas don’t need to be cold, uncomfortable and quiet. By creating a stimulating visual area AOJ have helped 100 excited children grab a book and open up their world.