Rikhotso Village, Limpopo
22 October, 2014
On the morning of Wednesday 22 October, as we drove into Rikhotso village, located in between Giyani and Tzaneen in the Limpopo province, we struggled to find Banareng Day Care Centre and worried we would be late for the 10am starting time for the launch. Had it not been for the balloons that were strategically tied to trees and other landmarks to guide and lead us to the heart of the village where all the excitement was bubbling in preparing for a festive mid-morning event, we would have certainly been late.
The new containers; an ablution block, a kitchen, and two classrooms stood out in the village maze. The women, wearing their colourful traditional attire arrived gradually in anticipation of the festivities. Several other women were standing by the three-legged iron cast pots, working their magic and preparing a feast for all the guests on open fire.
As Breadline Africa continues to support children to reach their full potential, it is obvious that being a teacher isn’t easy; it takes patience, experience and knowledge that often comes from lessons learnt by trial. Most importantly the teachers perform better when they receive the necessary support as witnessed by the parents, community members, the local headman, and representatives from Lewis Stores, Pick n Pay and Boxers Supermarkets, who all have in various ways, supported John Letsoalo, the Founder and Principal of Banareng Day Care Centre.
In all the speeches of the day, speakers referred to John as a respected, spirited man who never gives up and refuses to hear the word ‘no’. It is through his vision, his persistence and perseverance that has allowed John to be the success he is today and through his belief in the children and work hard, he has gone to great lengths to ensure they receive the best, be it education or any other need. This was obvious from the small group of extremely disciplined children who sang a couple of songs for the guests.
On this occasion, we were accompanied by two of our International Board members: Mr Tony Smyth and the Chairlady, Mrs Louise Seligman. Mrs Seligman expressed great pleasure to be among the crowd on such a celebratory event. The gratitude from Rikhotso community was obvious, the praises endless and the joy deeply encompassing.
The Department of Basic Education was present at the event, and the representative was delighted to be visiting the centre for the first time. He mentioned the significance of the Educare Centre in building the community and promised to be more present in going forward. This is a promise we hope will materialize into future benefits for the pre-school as the benefits of such a partnership would be far-reaching and ensure its sustainability as a centre of academic excellence.
Immediately following the speeches, there was the ribbon cutting, song and dance and plenty of food.
Banareng Day Care Centre is the seventh container project to be launched in the year that Breadline Africa celebrates 21 years.