Cape Town, September 27, 2014 – 4 containers for an Educare Centre were launched with much fanfare in the small farming town of Picketberg (an area of 9.8km2) 2 hours from Cape Town. It has a population of 11,900 and 3 in 4 residents are farm labourers. According to a 2013 study, the poverty rate is 33.8% which is the 2nd highest in the district. It was found that the community suffers from a shortage of resources, high poverty levels, and significant unemployment. The main forms of employment are seasonal farm work (many are unemployed between April-July) or work in quarries. Poverty is prevalent given the nature of the work, low wages and high dependency on social grants.
Mother Pearl was established in 1994 by Kitty Joubert (ECD Principal) and cared for 66 children between the ages of 2 and 5 using the tiny change rooms of the local rugby stadium. The children’s nap area was on the cold cement floor and they all shared a single adult toilet and hand basin. As each day ended, the facilitators had to pack away the ECD equipment to make way for the local sporting community to use the stadium. They applied to us in Oct 2012 and Edna visited Kitty and established the urgent need for containers to enable children be cared for an educated while parents are working on the farms.
On 27 September, the community gathered on the newly fenced (donated by Little Bright Stars ECD), still sandy land, granted by the municipality, where the shiny new BLA containers now stand. There are 4 containers under a roof structure: 2 classrooms, a kitchen and a toilet which were funded by direct mail campaigns earlier this year.
Loud festive music welcomed the parents, children, community members and honourable guests. This was replaced by a marching band and then a procession of the young ECD children proudly holding the banner and escorted by a local police van.
The ribbon was cut by the Municipal Mayor Evert Manuel, Cllr. Ray Van-Rooy supported by Principal Kitty Joubert, a committee member and Edna.
As the proceedings neared an end, Kitty Joubert was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy and said “words fail me but my heartfelt thanks goes out to Breadline Africa and all the donors who have helped make my dream come true”
A look inside the containers: