On a bright autumn morning, the children and staff of Ulutho Educare in Mitchells Plain, Western Cape, were the grateful recipients of a 30m² prefabricated classroom. This will be used to prepare Grade R children for starting primary school. Principal Joyce Cwayi started the pre-school in 2008 and the centre has grown in popularity within the community as a result of Joyce’s hard work. The well-run centre found itself with insufficient classroom space for the four- to five-year-olds and appealed to Breadline Africa for support.
A partnership with GROW Educare Centres, a non-profit social enterprise helping women run professional Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres in developing communities, has improved the standard at the pre-school. Ernest Siyo, GROW’s Business Mentor, opened the proceedings by sharing the important work that GROW does to ensure that centres like Uluthu Educare can provide quality education and ensure that these children have the best chance to break the cycle of poverty.
Principal Joyce was ecstatic that she now had adequate space for her Grade R learners. She explained how she had received a toilet container from Breadline Africa in 2011 and was grateful that this supported her in registering her pre-school. She thanked Breadline Africa and IHC for giving her this second wonderful gift and making her dream come true. She still has great plans to further expand her pre-school and provide even more children with a safe space to grow and hopes that Breadline Africa donors will help again in future.
Marion Wagner, Director of Breadline Africa, thanked Royal IHC for their generous contribution and their continued support. Marion also thanked GROW for the difference their remarkable programmes make to centres like Ulutho and how much she valued their partnership and involvement with Breadline Africa. She described how Joyce is an inspiration to so many ECD centre founders and reflects the values of passion and hard work. She was proud to see the success she was having at her centre despite all the difficulties many ECD centres are facing in light of COVID-19. Marion thanked all the guests, including Mariella Norman, a trustee on the Dutch Board of Breadline Africa, for attending this special day with her husband Rodney who recently retired from IHC. She wished the staff all the best for the future and was excited to see them grow from strength to strength.
Rajesan Naiker, Regional Commercial Director at Royal IHC, thanked Joyce and her staff for their hard work in shaping the young minds of the future. He shared how excited he was to see the young children experience the benefits of this classroom and hoped to see some young engineers coming out of the centre. He went on to thank Breadline Africa for the wonderful work they are doing in under-resourced communities by providing the necessary infrastructure to those in need.
Ward Councillor, Bongile Ngcani, commended Joyce on voluntarily starting the pre-school in this community when she saw the need. She ensured that the vulnerable children would have a safe place to learn and now have a chance to escape the poverty which is rife in the area. He believes that this classroom will allow many more children to be prepared for Grade 1 and will equip them to complete their education successfully, leading to many more opportunities. He thanked Breadline Africa and IHC for contributing to the community.
The Ulutho Educare Grade R class closed off the celebration with a wonderful song and dance before returning to their new classroom to continue their daily programme.