Umzomhle Educare Centre was established in 1997 by Elizabeth Sindi and on this special Mandela Day – on what would have been the great man’s 100th birthday, the centre received a 60m2 prefabricated classroom to accommodate the Grade R class. A gift made possible by The Film Industry Fund’s generosity

At the upbeat opening event, Elizabeth explained how she started the ECD 21 years ago and how she would always hide when anyone from DSD or Dept of Health came round as she knew that she had too many children on the site for the given number of infrastructure units. And then she said: “One day, a day I will never forget in my life, was when the Breadline Africa classroom was put up on my site. I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry I was so excited! Now I fear not! I now walk tall and proud – like other people. I will never have to hide again. I can now say that I am proud to be the Principal of Umzomhle!”

Mr Rudi Riek of The Film Industry Foundation expressed his delight at being able to launch the second Breadline Africa infrastructure with the first being a library at Kleinberg School in Ocean View. He said that the foundation has given R1 million back into community projects and added that he was thrilled to hear in May that year, that South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa committed half of his annual salary for ECD (pre-school) projects. This highlighted the importance of ECDs and the impact they have on early childhood development. Rudi then quoted former president Mandela, saying “It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another”. Rudi also thanked Andre van Wyk, one of the sponsors who attended the launch.

Ms Zikhona Mnyaiza, JAM spokesperson described Elizabeth as a beacon of hope for the community and said how the new classroom would make such a difference and provide a safe space for the children. She also highlighted the importance of partnerships such as Sikhule Sonke and Breadline Africa and how these organisations make South Africa a better place for the children of the nation. Marion Wagner, Breadline Africa’s director addressed the children, thanking them for their patience. She added that amongst these children, “we can see our countries future leaders, professors, entrepreneurs, scientists and doctors – so many young lives ready to be shaped by organisations like Umzomhle under the leadership of inspirational women such as Elizabeth Sindi.”

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