Lighthouse Gets Bathroom Makeovers

So many kids, so few bathroom options.

That’s been the case for years at God’s Little Lighthouse (GLL), a pre-school that serves the families from local squatter communities. More than once, the situation has led to less-than-hygienic results.

No more. Thanks to the hard work of ER staff, volunteers and donors, GLL is getting new bathrooms that will allow it to meet government standards and serve the needs of kids for years to come.

The work has transpired during the last several weeks and required a ton of manual labor. The old bathroom had to be stripped. Piping had to be installed. New concrete had to be poured to level the floors. Ceilings had to be repaired.

Once all this prep work was completed, the work crew installed new tile, sinks and toilets. Then the room was painted.

The results are transformational. Phase 1 is done and a huge need was met! On to Phase 2, a smaller room that will become the boys bathroom.

GLL, supported by ER partner ATAIM, provides a vital service to impoverished families in Cape Town, South Africa. The parents of these kids are striving to generate income for their families and have no affordable day-care options.

GLL fills this void, providing a safe and supportive environment for the children. They do this by providing nourishing snacks and preparing the kids to enter school. ER sees this work as crucial to give these children a fighting chance to enter school healthy and able to keep up with their peers.

ER works closely with GLL by loaning staff, providing short-term volunteers and helping with the many projects needed to keep this operation running smoothly. ER also operates the South Africa Dream Centre on GLL’s property. This after-school program bridges the gap from pre-school care to elementary after-school care.

Scroll below to learn more about GLL.

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(Cape Town, South Africa, May 9, 2017)

New Roof Helps Lighthouse Shine Brighter

From the outside, few may notice that God’s Little Lighthouse (GLL) has a new roof. But on the inside, life will be very different according to GLL director Pam Keightley, or “Aunty Pam” as she is known to the kids and volunteers.

The day after the the roof project was completed it rained. Pam didn’t know what to do. For the first time in 30 years, she didn’t have to figure out where to put all the buckets. Not one drop of rain came in.

I can’t actually remember a time when the roof didn’t leak,” she said. “At the first sign of rain I had a routine where containers were placed in certain spots where I knew the roof leaked. I spent a lot of time moving things around just in case.”

ER’s Nick Carnill coordinated the long-overdue repair for the daycare center, which was paid for by generous ER donors. The project uncovered one foul surprise.


While removing the worn out roofing materials, workers found pigeons roosting under the old roof. When they pulled some of the old roof off, birds flew everywhere. Pam said it is very quiet now without them in the ceiling. “It doesn’t sound like the River Dance anymore!”

“The roof looks absolutely amazing. Not only does the building look fantastic, but not sleeping in a damp room is going to be good for my health. I will sleep better not having to worry about the carpets getting wet.”

“I am so very grateful to everyone who made this amazing project happen,” she added. “I am so blessed by your generosity.”

The new roof means Pam and her staff can focus more attention on caring for the at-risk pre-schoolers they serve. Scroll below to learn more about how God’s Little Lighthouse is helping kids from local settlements overcome big challenges.

Now that the roof is fixed, ER is looking for a way to help with new bathrooms that will serve both God’s Little Lighthouse and ER’s South Africa Dream Centre – which is located on the same property. Want to help us install some new bathrooms? Contact Nick Carnill at ncarnill@extremeresponse.org.

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Lighthouse Shines Joy into the Lives of South Africa Families

By Amy Townsend, ER Staff, South Africa

(April 13, 2015)

GLL kidFor a glimpse at the impact of God’s Little Lighthouse (GLL), just consider Gabriel and her four siblings. This daycare and school for young children in Fish Hoek, South Africa, has cared for each of these underprivileged youngsters since they were pre-school age. The oldest now attends university and two more are thriving at local schools in grades 6 and 11. Gabriel, the youngest, is similarly enjoying educational opportunities she wouldn’t have otherwise.

Thanks to the love and commitment of “Aunty Pam” and her late husband, Rob, GLL has engendered countless stories of youngsters rescued from poverty – native South Africans as well Zimbabwean, Congolese and Malawian immigrants.

The organization is one of more than a dozen overseen by ER partner ATAIM. It was launched some 26 years ago, when Rob and Aunty Pam took notice of the poverty and despair local children were suffering.

The couple desired to bring hope to these children. But never did they imagine the stories that would be told in their community about GLL – stories of hope where there was hopelessness, friendship where there was loneliness, and happiness where there was despair. Each story told not just of children who were blessed to have a spot in the preschool program, but of their families and communities as well.
Auntie PamWhen there is not enough food to feed the children at home or a family struggle to pay tuition, Aunty Pam finds a way to provide. When difficult circumstances abound in a child’s home life, she and her staff provide hugs. It is not unusual to be playing outside with the children and see a young gentleman or lady come looking for Aunty Pam. Many times they just want to spend some time in the place that provided food, safety and love during their early years. They never walk through the gate without a huge smile on their face, and they never leave without a hug.

One pair of local parents dropped their first child off at GLL 15 years ago. During the course of those years and a litany of life changes, GLL and Aunty Pam were the constant in their lives. When the couple became foster parents, they naturally turned to GLL for help.

Today the mother says, “Besides my two biological sons and my nephew, Aunty Pam and her wonderful staff have helped us raise four other children. Now I have enrolled three more foster children in GLL. I look forward to another five years of happiness and support that we get from everyone at the school.”

It is no wonder GLL has a waiting list for the next school year. Love and compassion, the kind provided by Aunty Pam and her staff, are in high demand970299_614864335190262_1175523254_nIn addition to operating ER’s South Africa Dream Centre, an after-school program for elementary age children, Amy and Ron Townsend support the work at God’s Little Lighthouse. The Townsends and their  daughters Emily, Hannah and Sarah live in South Africa and help Extreme Response provide a regional presence.