Roderick & Thomas will be hiking to the top of Africa's highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro over the course of 7-days, beginning on July 24th. They will be raising money to support the building renovations of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre located in the township of Munsieville, a town just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Your donations will go a long way in having a direct impact on the lives of children in Munsieville and the operations of the ECD in question. All money raised will go towards renovating the Boitshoko Day Care Centre. These renovations will bring it into compliance with government standards, thereby making it eligible to receive government funding. This funding is an incredible aid to these ECDs operating in impoverished communities as their current financial standing is very weak. Most are currently operating at a deficit or are just making enough money to feed their students, but this comes at the expense of their employees who are then paid below minimum wage. Therefore, Roderick & Thomas are seeking to raise $4,500 CAD or 44,000R as they hike one of the 'Seven Summits' to fund the renovations of one of the ECD centres which Roderick had the pleasure of working with this past summer. 

South African Context:
According to a 2016 report, 78% of grade four learners in South Africa cannot read for meaning, compared to only 4% internationally (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study). Moreover, they ranked 128th out of 139 countries for the quality of their maths and sciences in the World Economic Forum's 2017-18 Report. This being said, South Africa allocated a staggering 21% of its national budget towards education in 2018, more than the likes of the U.S, UK and Germany. 

What are ECDs and what does Cross Connect Community Outreach do? 
Among the various programs within its umbrella, Cross Connect Community Outreach supports 40 Early Childhood Development (ECDs) Centres, 25 of which are within Munsieville alone. Munsieville is a township composed of informal settlements and government subsidized housing just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Investing in quality education during children's developmental years is of the utmost importance to help ensure the success of South Africa's next generation of leaders.
This begins with providing students in impoverished communities with the opportunities to learn and develop the skills they need and deserve to succeed when they begin primary school at the age of 6. Early Childhood Development Centres also ensure that young, influenceable children are taken care of during the day and are not exposed to the drugs, crime and violence often found in their communities. 

Cross Connect Community Outreach thus oversees these ECDs to ensure their continued operation and delivery of quality education by supporting them with management, educational curriculum and funding. 

What is the problem and why is supporting the renovation of an ECD important? 
Given the vast majority of the ECDs in question are operating in impoverished communities, many do not have the financial means to invest in costly renovations. Our interns, Roderick Mackinnon & Nicolas Legrain, found that many of these organizations were operating at a deficit, all the while even providing below minimum wage salaries to their employees. Based on their findings, they are now producing recommendations reports and operations templates to help these ECDs with their management. 

These ECDs now find themselves in an even more difficult situation. With the new Minimum Wage Act which officially came into effect on January 1st, 2019, organizations are now required to pay employees 3,500R per month (equivalent to $1.85 CAD/hour). Now, according to the South African Educational Department, one teacher is needed for every 15 students. This means that the majority of ECDs in question need to spend a minimum of 7,000R per month on salaries, whereas their income is only ~10,000R per month. This leaves very little money to cover all of the other expenses needed to run their operations (approximately $275.00 CAD remaining for food for students, stationaries, electricity, building maintenance etc...).

If the ECDs do not meet this new basic government requirement, they will be forced to close down their centres and approximately 30 children from each ECD will be left uncared for during the day and on the street. 

One of the options to supplement their minimal income is to receive government funding. This being said, for ECDs to be eligible their buildings must meet certain government requirements (such as proper roofing, flooring, separate rooms per age group etc...).
The issue is that given their already minimal income, these ECDs have no left-over funds to invest in the renovations which would make them eligible to receive government funding. Receiving government support is vital to ensure the longevity of these organizations and provide the opportunity for local children to obtain the safe and quality education they deserve.

McGill University business undergraduates Roderick Mackinnon and Thomas Prévost will thus be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, beginning on July 24th to raise money to fund the renovations of one of our Early Childhood Development Centres.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa's tallest peak and the fourth highest of the world's 'Seven Summits' (5,895m). 
Help us support Roderick & Thomas' climb as they raise the funds necessary to support a local ECD undertake the renovations they need in order to obtain government funding! 

Any and all donations are extremely appreciated! :)

Contribution Rewards

1) Donors contributing $20.00 CAD or more will receive a signed electronic picture of the new ECD centre and its students.

2) Donors contributing $100.00 CAD or more will have their names affixed on the wall of donors in the new ECD centre. 

3) A donation of $3,000 CAD or more will entitle the giving party to have the new ECD building named in their honour. 

*Kindly email Roderick at '' if you qualify and wish to obtain any of the aforementioned rewards.

Contact Information:
For any and all questions/concerns, feel free to contact:
- Roderick Mackinnon @
- Thomas Prévost @
- Kyle Tolman (Founder & CEO) @

- OR visit: to learn more about the organization!

Allocation of your donations:

All funds are earmarked for the renovation project of the Boitshoko Day Care Centre in Munsieville as selected by Roderick & Thomas.

40,000R = Funds dedicated to renovation expenses (proper roofing, ceiling, plastering walls and tiled flooring). 
4,000R = Funds directed to Cross Connect Community Outreach to manage and oversee the renovation project. 

community development, education, children, ecd, EarlyChildhoodDevelopment, communitydevelopment, renovations, support, fundraising, Township, empower


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    Roderick & Thomas

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    18 August 2019

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By Roderick & Thomas

Hey everyone! Beginning on July 24th, we will be spending 7 days hiking up the world's talle...

100% Completed
C$5,786 raised
C$4,652 Target