The Sunshine Team was birthed following a training sponsored by the American Embassy and LIASA in 2013. The training was facilitated by two American professors and had been done for a number of years. The Embassy however, decided to train local librarians as trainers so that they could continue the training in their provinces and reach more librarians with consumer health education. The aim was and still is to promote libraries as providers of useful resources which when used can lead to a positive health behavior. With recommendation from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) the American embassy welcomed Lintle Community on to the training, represented by Mpho Masienyane. At the end of the training represented regions were challenged to form training synergies and reach out to the public libraries in their regions with information they had learned during the training. The Pretoria region had librarians from the University of Pretoria (Health Sciences) Sefako Makgatho, Lintle Community Awakening, community librarians from Hammanskraal and Bronkhorspruit. These formed the Sunshine Team. The latter two fell out of the group.

The members of the Sunshine Team organised training for librarians, hosted AIDS day commemoration and did a number of community librarian outreaches in neighbouring schools. The group sough financial support from SABINET and engaged with different groups in enterprise development initiatives which were born out of library visits. A number of cooperatives were born and seven of them were duly registered. One of the already registered cooperatives has since joined our list of coops that we are coaching and supporting towards productivity and financial viability. This coop is a sewing coop.

Mr. Thabang Mashau of Tshwane hard in training.

Question time

The whole group posing with the principal of a nearby school Mr. Chauke. Some of the coops were initiated from his school into the library at Block X. Amazing partnership.
Together with the communities involved and the librarians we were very excited. Tshwane economic development section and DTI also got involved. The most pleasing aspect of the initiative was the collaboration and partnership that began for the benefit of the community. The second “pride” aspect was the fact that community members registered as members of the libraries and hopefully began to use libraries to find more information.

The Block X librarians posing with the Lintle Community Awakening and Sunshine Team after the training. A great taste in the mouth

Display units for community library

We were able to purchase and deliver a display stand at KT Motubatse library

Mr. Mark Dobson from American Embassy Library presenting books to KT Motubatse: another proud Sunshine initiative

Our volunteer Ms. Thabile Lukhele presenting the display stand to the KT Motubatse librarian Ms. Noluyolo Dube

Chemzone Cooperative

The story of Chemzone is double sided. It is a story of success and of challenges. This coop was born from the Soshanguve Block X Library and Dimakatso primary School initiative. The coop has registered and is trading. They have produced their first lot of Pine gel. Chemzone has very active and passionate members. Their work space and marketing strategy are of great concern. Officially they are at the stage where they must submit their business plan to DTI.

Members of Chemzone Cooperative after training at the Block X Library in Soshanguve

Chemzone cooperative members at work

Product complete and packaged

Mpho Masienyane presenting on behalf of the Sunshine team at an international conference held in Cape Town