A trip to Cape Town
During our 2006 Habitat for Humanity tour to Cape Town we met Margaret Ngaleka, principal of Mza’momhle Educare in Wallacedene, a township near Kraaifontein. A damp space of barely 100m2 in use to keep 80 children off the streets. We were impressed by her drive and energy to keep these 80 children safe and cared for, offering the mothers a change to go to work elswhere. We also noticed the shack like structure, the lack of means, the limited outdoor area, the poor financial situation.
74 Grootboom Av. Erf 22933, 7570 Wallacedene, Kraaifontein
Stichting Mzamomhle was set up to help. Practical at first; stop the roof from leaking etc. Unable to show a title deed for the land the facility was on, we decided to install a temporary shelter using converted sea containers equipped with a kitchen, proper toilets and a double roof to keep the heat out. A gift from Wings of Support, meant as an interim solution until a final one would be available.
Care, education and financial situation
The next step; improve on care, education – for both for the staff and the children – and financial situation. Apart from (day)care, children are better off attending preschool and indeed continue to go to primary school. Keep them within the system. Being able to read and write, interact, social skills etc. significantly improves one’s chances in life. Better start as early as possible.
Furthermore emphasis is placed on improving the financial situation, generating additional income and administration. Meeting the demands of the Children’s Act also opened up the Provincial subsidies needed. That, together with the parent’s fee means there is ample funding available to pay for the operational costs needed to run this ECD facility.
Early 2011 Margaret is informed the educare can not stay at the current location. City of Cape Town is offering plots for sale, with a significant discount, not to far away in the same township. We managed to buy 1270 m2 and build a new facility in 2012 on Grootboom Av.
Train the trainer
A good teacher is key; a must have. Training is done by the Centre for Early Childhood Development (ZA) and co-funded by Stichting Projecten ZA (the Netherlands). Early 2013 we managed to make the training available to another 10 daycare centres in the Wallacedene area.
Contact with Margaret is on a regular basis by phone and/or visits. It is (financially) independent, sustainable and monitored by CoCT Department of Social & ECD. The leases for 5 years with an option to renew. 96 children attend and the Grade R class moves on to the primary school close by.