Breadline Africa and local non-profit organisation, A Reaching Hand, partnered to provide a six-metre converted shipping container classroom to Teletubbies Educare, an informally established early childhood development (ECD) centre in the Cape Town suburb of Uitsig.
It was started in August 2009 by Leonie Geldenhuys, at her home, to keep the children off the streets of a gang-ridden community, plagued by drugs and alcohol. This is a highly unsafe environment for innocent children, who are exposed to gang fight crossfire on a daily basis
A Reaching Hand started supporting the ECD in June 2014 by providing dry food products, donated clothing, outings, and school uniforms for those children who progress to pre-primary school. These are children whose parents are horse and cart traders, collecting and selling scrap to earn a living. These are families who live below the poverty line and whose existence is largely dependant on welfare grants from the South African government.
The centre is not government subsidised and depends wholly on donations and the support of A Reaching Hand, founded by Karin Hoole in 2010. Most parents are unable to contribute anything towards the care of their children. A nutrition programme, funded by A Reaching Hand, for the children at the pre-school ensures that they receive at least one substantial, healthy meal a day, five days a week. There are currently 20 children in regular attendance and 10 to 15 more during the summer season, when parents have seasonal work on citrus and wine farms. These children are being cared for daily by four caregivers.
Until now, the children were being cared for in a rundown, makeshift room that was not safe nor secure. During the winter months, the children had to be brought into Mrs. Geldenhuys’ home, which is extremely small. The arrival of a renovated, insulated 6m shipping container classroom was therefore a great cause for celebration on 23 March and attended by the following: Karin Hoole, Founder of A Reaching Hand, Charlene Blacker, Director of Programmes and Beverley Johannessen, Project Manager and Logistics, Breadline Africa Director, Marion Wagner and Infrastructure Manager Graeme Hyde and the staff and children of Teletubbies Educare who loved the special cupcakes to mark the occasion!