Bertrams Junior School

Bertrams Junior School (BJS) Charity Project

Project Background

FIDI’S young mover’s club the FIDI 39 Club, adopted Bertrams Junior School, Johannesburg, South Africa as their charity project in 2006, largely due to the relentless and enthusiastic promotion of the school by Laura Wegener, Group International Director at Stuttafords Johannesburg (South Africa).
Bertrams’ motto ‘Ever Forward’ tied in perfectly with FIDI’s vision and the FIDI Board decided to make the school its global FIDI Charity project until 2015. In total $203,000 was raised by the FIDI Community and the donations are now being used to build new classrooms and facilities.

About the school

Bertrams is located in Paarl, an under-priviledged suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. The school educates around 500 pupils and the FIDI funded building project funded the creation of 5 new classrooms allowing a much larger number of local children to attend and also enabling older pupils to stay on at school to complete their primary education.

School Principal Ms Khaniyi Twala, had a long term ambition to grow BJS into a fully-fledged primary school. “Today we only offer four grades and a reception year. That means that children have to change schools at age 10, when they are still quite fragile. The other school is in a different area, more difficult to reach. Those obstacles often lead to the young children dropping out of school’’. According to School Choice International, in South Africa only 48% of students who begin Grade 1 complete their school education. Thanks to the generous donations of the FIDI Community, Ms Twala’s dream has become a reality.


The new classrooms were completed in late 2016

The 5 new classrooms, built on the back of FIDI Community donations over 11 years were completed and are used by the school children at Bertrams Junior School. The classrooms consist of one large double storey building 4 classrooms, a standalone classroom and separate toilets for boys and girls. The new classrooms have empowered the teachers and pupils at Bertrams who are now immensely proud of the school. Locals in the community have even popped in to see if this state school is now privately owned such is the transformation.

The new classrooms will now help to educate thousands of children for many years to come. Here are some of the children already benefiting from the new facilities:

Status - 19 December 2016

The building works are progressing well but will be delayed over the Christmas period. These photos taken today reflect the huge progress that has already taken place. Where the classrooms now stand, there was previously only the remnants of two broken down houses, overgrown wasteland, rubbish, weeds, old motor car parts and filth. Further updates to follow in January 2017.

Status - 9 December 2016

The project is progressing well. There were some minor delays due to extremely heavy rainfall. The foundations have been laid, one single floor classroom is practically complete as are the floors and roof slabs for the double story (4 classrooms). Completion date is now set at 9 January 2017.

Status - 9 November 2016

The demolition and groundworks process is now completed and the contractors are busy making the concrete slabs to start the classroom erection process next week.

Here are the latest photos showing the contractors in action:

Status – September 28, 2016

Last week the elected construction company, Kwikspace began the ardeous task of the demoliton of derelict buildings and preparing the landscape and foundations to build on. Here is a construction worker at the very start of the demolition:


In January 2014, a FIDI delegation received a warm welcome from the school pupils and its teachers. The visit helped to secure permission from the relevant authorities to agree to the school’s expansion.



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File Thank you from the Headmistress.pptx1.61 MB