Container education helpline an “answer to prayer”

Learners at work on computers and a music keyboard (background) in a helpline centre in a container in the Seaview area.

A shipping container “helpline” equipped with five laptop computers with Internet access has opened a new world of hope for residents of informal settlements in Seaview, Port Elizabeth.

High school learners as well as older people who had previously dropped out of school, were using the computers to do homework and brush up on subjects like maths and basic computer literacy, with the help of Christian volunteers who ran the helpline, said project founder, Penny Anderson.

She said the recent donation of laptop computers and Internet access, by Shaeffler South Africa and the Rainbow Nation Club, were an answer to prayer. The container resource centre was situated conveniently close to the Zweledinga and New Rest settlements as well as to people living at the Pump Station and Seaview, said Anderson.

“When you are on the path that God wants you to be on, He opens doors,” said the Kini Bay resident and former physical education teacher who has been running voluntary educational projects in the area for the past decade.

“When I became a proper Christian in 2000 I decided to make my talents available to the community,” she said. She began with gym coaching but over the years, with the help of other volunteers, offered lessons in further skills such as playing the guitar and keyboard, and baking.

The container was donated several years ago and was moved to its present location earlier this year. “The message on the door tells the story: Unikwa mandla nguThixo (Empowered by God),” said Anderson.

Currently she is brushing up on her maths knowledge in order to assist learners who use the container helpline. She said she was keen to facilitate further education opportunities for some local adults who, for various reasons, had not completed their schooling. She said she needed help and advice with this process in order to ensure that people were assisted in a way that would qualify them for employment opportunities. Anderson can be contacted at 041 3781207.


  1. This is really embodying the Good News of the Kingdom of God that Jesus announced: Good News to the poor, release for the captives, setting free the oppressed (Luke 4: 18 – 19).

  2. thrilled to read that Penny’s time and energy invested in the Seaview school children is paying off in suich a wonderful way – Anne & Dick Forster

  3. Penny’s passion for working for the Lord is visible in her achievements – may this project grow and enrich the lives of many.

  4. Charmaine Potgieter

    Way to go Penny!!!I thank God for the prompting to find out more about the sms you sent me one night. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to grow this ministry. May you and Dave be blessed abundantly as you shape and mould and better the lives of many people, giving them opportunities that they would otherwise not have had.

  5. Lisa Jansen van Vuuren

    Thanks be to God Penny for the gift He has given you to teach. May God prosper your efforts in building God’s kingdom.

  6. Thanks folks at Gateway for sharing this. This is good and encouraging. It is how the church ought to be. Greetings from Estonia, Europe.

  7. Christine Heydenrych

    Wonderful, Penny! If we look around us we will see much poverty : no money, no love, no dignity,no purpose, no hope. All of this is colour blind!!