On a cold, rainy September morning, the staff and children of Siyahluma Educare Centre in Khayelitsha gathered to celebrate the launch of a converted container kitchen, ready to produce healthy nutritious meals!

Programme Director, Thobeka Ratya welcomed everyone and reminded them that rain is a blessing in Africa, so the new kitchen was especially blessed! Rev Peter Makuta officially opened the occasion with a prayer and Thandiswa Madolo, a parent whose child attends Siyahluma, thanked the teachers and principal for the way that the children are being looked after at the pre-school.

Ms Ntombokhanyo Xakaliva explained that one of the roles that partner organisation, Ikamva Labantu plays in the community is to assist pre-schools with the government registration that allows them to access a daily subsidy for each child in their facility. It is not an easy journey, as many of the pre-schools are in informal settlements and do not comply with the National Building Regulations. Safe structures protect the children from harm and opportunities such as the infrastructure offered by Breadline Africa’s generous donors, are welcomed.

Breadline Africa’s Programme manager, Puleng Phooko, commended the Khayelitsha ECD Forum on their cohesiveness and commitment to the health, welfare and safety of the children in their care. It is small packages of dynamite like Gloria Bebeza, the founder of Siyahluma, together with all the ECD caregivers and principals who have the capacity to challenge government policies that affect young children and the community.

The principal, Nondumiso Xhintolo welcomed the members of the ECD Forum, Breadline Africa, Ikamva Labantu, Sikhula Sonke and parents to this joyous occasion. She thanked everyone for their contribution to making her centre a success and thanked the parents for entrusting their children to her. She encouraged the parents to ensure that the children arrive at school on time, as they will be safe!

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