26 Oct

The establishment of a private school in the Myngenoegen area is the brainchild of a lady who never gave up hope. When Betty Kennedy a manager of a fashion shop was retrenched and received a golden-handshake of R1500, she decided to start a créche in Westenburg. Betty says she’s had a soft spot in her heart for kids since she was very young.

Betty Kennedy Founder of Myngenoegen English Private School

She began taking care of 5 children in 1990. Her house in Westenburg was adapted to house the children. There was a growing need and the créche was expanded to Betty’s mothers house next door. 

At that stage it was a day-care service which Betty and her mother rendered, which included the care of school children after hours. But there was also a need for accommodation for children during the night. The number of children being cared for during the day increased to 90 with 4 teachers to assist Betty. 

Ouma JR and Betty Kennedy Founder of Myngenoegen English Private School

At first she did it all by herself. In 1993 Betty realised that the 2 houses were insufficient to house the growing number of children. Betty says that the health department was pestering her at that stage. She decided to look out for a small holding realising that this would be the only solution to the plan that was unfolding in her mind.

Myngenoegen English Private School new plot 1996

Betty’s centre gets a new home on plot

Plot 2 Myngenoegen with a house, flat and storeroom, was the ideal place for Betty’s planned care centre - which was no longer the créche in which she started off with. 

She brought the smaller kids to the plot and used the house as a boarding house. This was also becoming too small to house the number of children who came from Venda, Phalaborwa, Giyani and even as far as Mpumalanga in Gauteng. 

Myngenoegen English Private School established 1996

Some more buildings were erected on the plot. The 13 rooms at first also served partially as a boarding house. Today there are 6 classrooms as well as boarding facilities for girls and boys.

When the schools opened in 1996 the school was opened on request of the parents. School-going children in the city were being transported in Betty’s vehicles to the centre and parents reasoned ‘why not start a school on the premises of the care centre?’

Today there is a nursery school with 90 kiddies. Four teachers take care of them. Betty says she can hardly afford to keep up, but she has a strong belief in God - he helps. She is the clay and He is the Maker. Betty is staunchly supported by her family and Glass King who is their main supporter.

To view the newspaper article published by Northern Review August 16 1996 page 18 - 20 download the article below.