Thingo Kids Early Childhood Development and Training Center

Cosmo City, South Africa

The Thingo Kids Early Childhood Development & Training Center houses a training facility and classrooms for eighty children.  Communal programs make up the heart of Thingo Kids curriculum and they are supported by an outdoor dining space, play areas, and garden pods.  The communal spaces are angled to open up to views of the Cosmo City conservation zone.

The school is a product of a two year program orchestrated by Cornell University Sustainable Design, an interdisciplinary student-led organization at Cornell University.  With the help of academic advisors and industry professionals, students executed the project after participating in a comprehensive research and design studio.  Strong emphasis was placed on sustainable passive technologies to decrease energy dependency.  Twenty-eight student volunteers traveled from seventeen countries to South Africa to construct the school alongside local laborers from the Cosmo City neighborhood.

Deborah Terhune of Growing Up Africa acted as the project’s International Business Liaison.  In this advisory capacity, she worked with the Cornell students to secure local technical professionals, develop marketing and communication strategies, and to negotiate with suppliers for the required materials to complete the project.  The project was completed in partnership with Cornell University Sustainable Design, Education Africa, Play-With-A-Purpose, Basil Read Development, and the City of Johannesburg.

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