On Tuesday, 10 December 2019 the children of Graceland Educare Centre were the grateful recipients of a new classroom, comprised of two joined six-metre containers, thanks to the generosity of the IHC Foundation, which is the philanthropy arm of Royal IHC.
During the event, Ms Maria Maile a long time friend of the school’s principal, Ms Julia Dodose spoke of the journey they have taken together. She explained that their friendship was sparked while they were working in the tourism industry At the time, they were taking tourists around Khayelitsha’s pre-schools in order to draw awareness to their needs and raise funds for the schools. And now, Julia has a school of her own!
Maria also shared some of the challenges that Julia experienced with her pre-school, sometimes struggling to meet her monthly obligations because parents are unable to pay the fees. This is an unfortunate reality for many principals of pre-schools in South Africa. Maria also thanked Julia for creating a strong foundation for her daughter, who previously attended Graceland Educare and has now just completed Grade 12.
Director of Breadline Africa’s partner organisation, Sikhula Sonke, Mr Mdebuka Mtwazi referred to a South African survey that illustrates that the number of children who register for Grade R each year often runs to millions. But by the time that this same group of children reach grade 12 only approximately 500,000 of them will still be attending classes. From here, only approximately 200,000 will register for any form of tertiary education.
This, he explained, illustrates the critical importance of strengthening and prioritising foundation phase interventions, as this has great life and educational outcomes.
Mr CD Myburgh the Financial Controller of IHC Foundation, said that he was impressed with the work that Breadline Africa was doing, and thanked the community for their warm welcome. He added that the Foundation hopes to be able to support Breadline Africa to continue providing shelter and safe spaces for the children, which is what they do best.
Puleng Phooko expressed gratitude to the IHC Foundation for believing in the work that Breadline Africa does. She thanked Julia for arranging the launch and commended Mr Pascal Bodjienou who teaches the children with such great passion.