You may have seen or heard with shock and dismay of the rioting and looting in KwaZulu-Natal in July that followed the start of Jacob Zuma's jail term.
Aftermath at TREE headquarters
We have been anxious to understand how the violence may have affected our beneficiaries in the rural areas of Zululand.
The rural area around Nqutu has not been badly affected by looting, but Melmoth and Eshowe, as well as towns along the coast and Durban itself, have experienced much destruction of shops and other commercial premises.
In North Durban the TREE headquarters site which includes the classrooms where our sponsored ECD practitioners get trained - was badly vandalised, to the value of some £500,000 (ZAR 9 million), including the removal of all moveable furniture, computers
and other electrical equipment; vehicles were stripped to shells and there was also structural damage done.
Whilst TREE expect financial support through insurance claims and government grants, there is no telling how many months or years it will take to arrive.
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We have decided to split the proceeds from this year's hike between
subsidising water tanks via ACAT (as previously announced) and providing
£10,000 'recovery' funding to TREE to help training continue
for our sponsored ECD trainee practitioners.