Nearly four years ago, Children’s Book Network gave a workshop at Red Hill informal settlement above Simon’s Town. This was at the instigation of a group of Swedish librarians – and a drama teacher – who were interested in projects to do with reading and encouraging children to love books. They not only encouraged what was then only the gleam of an idea, they came in person. They brought funding and gifts and toys and books. Most of all, they brought beleief that CBN could happen. The friendship that began with meeting in the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens between CBN Director Lesley Beake and Anna Halgren and Rose-Marie Lindfors has continued to grow. Visits have been exchanged, CBN has been to Sweden to share and learn from the example of wonderful projects there. Funding for iPads has been raised by Swedish teenagers. A thousand emails have flown across the distance between. Rotary Skellefteä very quickly became part of that and formed links with Rotary Cape of Good Hope and now Rotary Newlands as well.
A record of that first workshop can be found at: https://www.childrensbook.co.za/sites/default/files/resource-documents/cbnsweden-cooperation-book-people.pdf
Now something else has flown between us. A vintage bi-plane (a De Havilland 60 Moth) landed at Stellenbosch Air Club at 15.10 mirroring a historical flight made 93 years ago from Sweden to Cape Town. The project is called Cape to Cape and more information is available on their website www.capetocape.net
CBN met the plane with 17 children and two adults from Red Hill informal settlement community. There was a party of Swedish supporters of Cape to Cape – who turn out to be equally ardent supporters of CBN. It was a wonderful and happy occasion.
This item on our website hopes to say a particular thank you to those Swedish friends who have watched what we do and encouraged us every step of the way. It is also to thank Rotary members in both countries who have listened to us and helped us to make our plans and dreams come true.
The Swedish friends pictured here at a workshop at Luthando Creche in Stellenbosch are (from left to right): Rose-Marie Lindfors, Gunilla Brinck, Synneva Byrkland, Anna Hallgren and Maria Nordenback.