A backyard library aimed at encouraging Cape Flats kids to read has received a welcome revamp.
University students from as far as Amsterdam and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) sacrificed three Saturdays to renovate the library at John Nicholson’s home in Hillview, Lavender Hill.
In March, the Daily Voice brought you the heartwarming story of John, who started the library called Omegaview, so that children in the poverty-stricken and violence-torn community can have a safe place to read, play and learn.
The kids also play board games and the dad of two feeds them when he can afford to.
After John’s story went viral on social media, he received thousands more books as donations.
With his garage now overflowing, John needed more space for the boeke.
Earlier this month, varsity student came to construct colourful wooden bookshelves and painted tables for the children to use.
Now John’s garage has wall-to-wall shelves with the books neatly displayed.
John says he is still overwhelmed by the public’s response, which was “phenomenal”, some from as far as Europe.
The original Daily Voice story published on Facebook got over 6 000 comments.
“The students (who revamped) were from Amsterdam and some were missionaries,” he explains.
“They dedicated three Saturdays to make these bookshelves and painted them, as well as these tables.
“Now I can stack and organise the books for the children.
“This is all about the children. Making the environment friendly and educational for them.”
Meanwhile, John’s wife Gail has begun giving the children music lessons.
They only have a recorder, but hope to have other instruments soon.
“This is a great pleasure for me because it is for the children,” she says.
John reiterated his plea to the City of Cape Town to make his library a Wi-Fi hotspot for school projects and the unemployed.
“This will help youngsters who are looking for employment and do not have money for an internet café,” he says.
If you would like to reach out to John, contact him on 074 695 4191.