Thandeka Raspene has been the principal of Sinethemba Educare Centre since 1987. The sad reality that Thandeka faced was the lack of decent toilet facilities at her pre-school in Nyanga. With no running water or sewerage connections, the requirements of COVID-19 sanitation became even harder to meet. Imagine trying to look after and nurture small children during a highly infectious pandemic – and no way to wash hands! We see the grim realities on a daily basis: many centres in informal settlements still use buckets and have to empty potties down public drains. It is a terrible situation, in a country where the single greatest cause of death for children under five is diarrhea disease. Now add a pandemic in which we must all wash our hands, thoroughly, as often as possible – and you can see how desperate the need for decent toilets and washbasins has become.
19 November 2020 – World Toilet Day – was a wonderful day for all at Sinethemba Educare Centre. Breadline Africa handed over the keys to a brand new specially converted toilet block & kitchen container. Not only has the dignity of Thandeka and the children of Sinethemba been restored, but they now have life-saving hygienic facilities. All meals can also now be prepared in a safe kitchen unit and not in a classroom as previously done.
Thandeka thanked the Almighty for bringing Breadline Africa to her life. She explained how she nearly gave up in 2014 when the Department of Social Development deregistered her pre-school as the structures were deemed unsafe. She explained how Breadline Africa came to the site, restored her faith, and raised her hopes. She said she knows that pre-schools have many needs and not all can be met, but organisations like Breadline Africa and their incredible donors help to tackle the largest challenges around infrastructure.
Thandeka said “When Breadline Africa told me that they will be donating a toilet and kitchen, I was lost for words and realised that at last, I would be able to have safe, functional toilets and a kitchen which is needed now more than ever? I am extremely grateful to all the donors who made this happen. Finally, I have a chance to register again with the Department, because I will be compliant!. Thank you!”
As the children explored their new toilet and kitchen, one of the parents shared how Thandeka was not just a principal; but she was also a parent. A parent not only to the children but to the parents as well – teaching and guiding them on this journey. They expressed their gratitude to Breadline Africa for helping restore hope.
Thank you to all our incredible and generous donors for helping Thandeka and Sinethemba Educare centre. This new infrastructure will not only allow the children to stay safe and follow hygienic practices, vital during these times, but will also allow Thandeka to continue her journey of providing thousands of children with a solid foundation through her Educare centre.