23 years ago, a young lady from Khayelitsha in the Western Cape opened a small Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre in her area, taking in babies and young children aged between 3-6 years old. Ms Bongiwe Meslane has been ensuring that the young children from the surrounding community receive a solid foundation before heading to primary school. The pre-school provides a meal for each child during their school day, but with limited space, they had only the classroom to cook in creating a hazard with stoves and pots of food. Bongiwe reached out to Breadline Africa and requested a container kitchen to safely prepare meals for the children, away from the classroom.
We were ecstatic to handover the keys to the new kitchen to Bongiwe, her staff and her 43 children on 18 November
2020. The 6m kitchen container is now a safe space for meals to be prepared, without risking the children or disrupting the class. Bongiwe explained that her job was now so much easier as she no longer had to worry about the dangers posed to all the children when she cooked inside the classroom. We cheered Bongiwe on as she cut the ribbon to her new kitchen. She expressed her wish for all children in her community, to be enrolled at an ECD centre where they can receive the care they need during these formative years.
Breadline Africa will continue to assist under-resourced pre-schools to become safer and hopefully meet the requirements to be registered with the Department of Social Development to receive subsidies. This kitchen container for Siyanda Educare centre is a step in that direction. We know that Bongiwe and her staff can now focus on developing strong healthy children in a safe environment for many years to come.