Linda Klimbashe opened Bright Future Educare Centre in 2011 with just eight children. On Tuesday 3 December 2019, the new facility for 60 children was launched and guests were welcomed to celebrate the opening of the two classrooms (made up of two sets of two six-metre containers joined together) and a six-metre container kitchen/toilet.
When Linda started Bright Future, there had been rumours that some of the local children had been physically abused by a priest. She feared that the community would not accept her family, especially her husband, who is a minister in a local church. But, over time they have proved their worth and have won the trust of residents.
Previously, the centre could not be registered with the Department of Social Development, due to the dilapidated state of the shacks that she and her teachers had to teach in. The shacks leaked during the winter months and the children were at constant risk of illness. One of the teachers, Phakama ‘Nono’ Tapolisi spoke emotionally about the hardships they endured when it rained and the risks they faced when cooking. Originally, the cooking facilities were not physically separated from the teaching area, and each day they feared that one of the small children would be hurt. Nono’s face lit up when she spoke about the relief of not having to worry about the safety of children in the kitchen anymore.
Reverend Joy Klimbashe, Linda’s husband, explained that Linda had recently been hospitalised and had not even seen the new structures yet. He said that he looked forward to showing her the new centre, giving her hope and strength to continue her work in 2020.
Puleng Phooko, Breadline Africa’s Programme Manager wished the children a bright future in their new facilities and thanked the donors who funded the centre’s infrastructure: Jackie Channing, Tony Tucker, and friends of Peter and Anthony. The contributions of the guests who attended the London fundraising events in October 2019 helped Breadline Africa reach the ambitious fundraising target for this project and make the new structures, along with a fence, a reality. Puleng also thanked special Breadline Africa guests who attended the launch, while visiting from the UK, Mr and Mrs Douglas Aspinall. They handed out bags of beautifully knitted hats and toys from the St Michael’s Church Knit & Natter group in Reading!
Sindiswa Duna, the principal of Tiny Tots Educare Centre, also a beneficiary of Breadline Africa, spoke on behalf of the Khayelitsha community and thanked Breadline Africa for their presence in the Khayelitsha community, helping to improve the circumstances of children under the age of six.