Iminathi Day and Aftercare Centre has been under development since 2011 and currently consists of four classrooms, as well as kitchen, and toilet, office and sickbay facilities. In 2012, Mhlangabezi and Lindelwa Masizana established their Libromat Programme (as an income-generating service) to improve access to laundry facilities in this community.
However, on days when parents are on site using washing machines, Mhlangabezi and Lindelwa also actively encourage them to interact with their children by reading to them, playing games and playing with toys. The toy library provided by Breadline Africa aims to strengthen this programme by providing a dedicated facility where educational resources may be stored and are easily available to be used and borrowed by parents.
Principal, Mr Mhlangabezi Masizana, recalled how his office was previously used as a library and the only access the children had to books that were packed in a box. The new toy library fulfilled his dream that parents could engage with their children by reading to them while waiting for their laundry. Mr Ken Gumbo of Afri-CAN Children’s Charity congratulated Iminathi on their achievement and said that he felt sure that the project was in good hands and working to ensure for a better tomorrow for all the children at the centre.
Diane Laugksch, Breadline Africa’s Strategic Partnerships Manager congratulated the organisations and partners that have contributed to the extensive development of this centre in recent years and thanked them for allowing Breadline Africa to be part of their journey and to share in their vision. She emphasised the importance of play and reading, and encouraged everyone to support efforts focused on developing literacy at a young age. She wished everyone well and handed over a small collection of books and educational resources from Breadline Africa to add to the toy library.
Local grandparent, Mrs Gxothiswa said that her granddaughter loves coming to the centre every day. She said that her granddaughter is able to read and count and it is all made possible by the teachers of the centre. She is happy that her granddaughter is able to attend a local educare centre, rather than having to travel outside of the area. She thanked everyone who made the toy library possible, as well as all who have and continue to support the centre.