Alstom Foundation opens new culture facility in Cape Town

The Alstom Foundation opened a R700 000 arts and culture facility, TheSteenberg Pavilion at Steenberg High School on the outskirts of Cape Town today in partnership with Musiquelaine SA.

The Pavilion, funded by the Alstom Foundation with Musiquelaine SA undertaking the project management and advising on design and development will provide facilities for disadvantaged young South Africans to develop their musical talents and to effect a positive change in their lives.

Steenberg High School is in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, an area characterised by social-economic challenges, including drugs and gang violence. The majority of the learners come from impoverished, single-parent families; often the head of the family is a grandparent.

At today’s official opening were Mr Laurent Amar, Consul General of France in Cape Town, Mr Xavier Boisgontier, Managing Director of Alstom Southern Africa, senior representative of the Alstom Foundation in South Africa; Mrs Lainey Trequesser, President of Musiquelaine South Africa; Professor Jonathan Jansen, an ex Steenberg High School pupil, Stanford University Graduate and former Rector, Head of University of Orange free State and Mr Andre Kraak, Headmaster of Steenberg High School.

Mr Kraak said: “We try to provide an atmosphere where our learners can be secure and happy. This pavilion will give our learners opportunities not afforded them previously – a space to relax, enjoy themselves and nurture their talents.”

Mr Boisgontier said: “We are pleased to be involved in this project, giving disadvantaged children theopportunity to experience the power of music and develop their musical talents.”

The Alstom Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Alstom created in 2007. Alstom is committed to promoting economic development and social progress especially for communities in the vicinity of Alstom’s operating locations around the world.

Alstom has supported 152 projects in 51 countries spread across six continents, with tens of thousands of direct beneficiaries, at a cost of around R16 million a year.

Musiquelaine SA is a non-governmental organisation, dedicated to the promotion and development of Music Education in schools of disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape. Since 2013 Musiquelaine S.A. introduced a “Music Education for Life Transformation” project at Steenberg High School, Steenberg. This school is reputed for academic, sports & athletics excellence & prior to the intervention of Musiquelaine S.A. there was no music instruction in this school. The pupils attending Steenberg High School come from several surrounding disadvantaged areas, Retreat, Capricorn, Lavenderhill.

Alstom is South Africa’s preferred partner to revitalise the country’s rail industry, boost its economy and address its people mobility needs. This is largely implemented through Alstom’s two South African joint-ventures – Gibela Rail Consortium and Alstom Ubunye – which together offer a complete range of systems, equipment, services and manufacturing facilities.

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