Masicorp - Timeline
Founded in 1999 by John and Carol Thompson, Masicorp was established to help make a real difference in the lives of Masiphumelele township residents. With people who so obviously want to help themselves, our goal is to give them a hand up and not a handout. We tailor our work to the needs of the community and, in so doing, help to ensure it will be sustainable and have lasting value.
In the early days, building was a significant part of our work. We put up 23 houses, a crèche and a community library. From this point we gradually developed our education programmes and education, from pre-school to adult learning, is now our principal objective and activity.
In 2001, Masicorp partnered with Doreen Zanyiwe and built the Ikhaya Labantwana Crèche to transform a child care centre run out of a one-room shack into a spacious, well-lit, two story facility. This pre-school facility now employs eight people and looks after more than 80 children between the ages of 2 and 5.
Shack-dwellers have no books. The township's library was built in 2003 by Masicorp and opened its doors on 15 September 2003 as a satellite of Fish Hoek Library. Masiphumelele Corporation went on to build the double storey extension in 2005 and a park in front of the library in 2006.
Masiphumelele Library initially operated with donations of books from South Africa and abroad until the Western Cape Provincial Library Services came on board with book stock. Contract staff from Fish Hoek operated the library from 2003 onwards. Their salaries were subsidized by funding from Masiphumelele Corporation to keep the library open for longer hours and to support the outreach programmes.
The small library built by Masicorp in 2003 has been expanded twice and is now the centre of learning in the community. In 2008 an extra wing was added to the building, providing a shaded courtyard area and extra teaching /meeting rooms.
The library now lends out over 40,000 books per year. Masicorp helps support the many programs offered from adult literacy to homework clubs. A computer centre provides training and community access to the Internet. Masicorp has handed the library buildings over to City of Cape Town, but library space is still provided to us free of charge to use for our programmes. Masicorp continues to provide the equipment and human resources for its educational programmes.
After more than 10 years work founding, fund raising and managing Masicorp, John and Carol Thompson have ‘retired’ from active duty in SA. They continue to lead our fundraising in USA and they remain Directors and a source of help and inspiration for us all.
They are two very remarkable and generous people. Through their work and leadership with Masicorp, they have made a very positive difference to the lives of many people in Masiphumelele.