The children of Athenkosi Educare had a wonderful reason to celebrate when they opened the doors of their new, extra-large classroom facility for the first time on 16 February 2018.
The principal, Ms Vuyelwa Skweza approached Breadline Africa when their registration with the Department of Social Development (DSD) had expired and could not be renewed until certain infrastructure requirements had been met – including safe and secure classroom facilities for the babies (under the age of one) and for the Grade R children.
With the help of Breadline Africa’s generous individual donors, the children of Athenkosi received two six-metre joined containers, which were converted into one large classroom. At the launch, Ms Puleng Phooko, Breadline Africa’s Programme Manager remarked that Athenkosi was selected as a beneficiary for infrastructure because of the great work taking place in the facility. Puleng applauded Vuyelwa for her commitment and said that she was looking forward to receiving updates on the children’s achievements, adding that she hoped the new classroom would allow the teachers the opportunity to impact upon many young people’s lives.
The local city councillor of Zwelitsha, where the centre is located, Mr Andile Lili reminded all of the pre-school (early childhood development – ECD) principals attending the launch of the importance of adhering to strict hygiene practices in their respective facilities. The severe drought currently being experienced in Cape Town is resulting in limited access to water in many areas, making disease and illness a real concern. He explained that the absence of safe water, sanitation and hygiene may result in greater disease risk, especially in the pre-schools, where the children are vulnerable to infection.
Ms Thobeka Ratya, the Public Relations Officer of the Khayelitsha ECD Forum outlined her responsibilities in the Forum, the most significant of which is ensuring that all 321 ECDs in Khayelitsha comply with the Department of Social Development’s requirements. She commended the work that Vuyelwa is doing, not only in her ECD, but also in the surrounding community – she continues to be a pillar of strength in more ways than one!