We are happy and very relieved to report that the number of Covid-19 cases in Cape Town are decreasing and that schools, as well as the last Day care centres, are finally permitted to reopen. At Little Lambs and Heuwel Speelskool, the first lessons started beginning of February.
We keenly follow the attendance register and are confident that soon all students will have returned – although there is much uncertainty about how many parents are still employed; who still has a monthly income and who thus will be able to pay school fees for their child.
The latest figures reflect that circa 270,000 people in the Western Cape have lost their jobs since the beginning of Covid-19. In addition, it is uncertain to what extent the Day-care centres can count on government subsidies for this year. Patience is necessary. We anticipate that the next few months will bring more clarity – on many levels.
1. In Calitzdorp, Klaus and Urusla Triebe are happy for the return to date of 230 children to the Heuwel Speelskool. Their financial situation remains uncertain and will only become clearer in the next few months. They both assume that many parents from Bergsig Township will no longer be able to pay any school fees.
The new Afterschool Care building is nearing completion, and our next meeting is to discuss further details and procedures about running of the
2. Little Lambs has, to date, 250 children returned and we hope that all 300 registered children will soon be back. During their weekly school days, the children enjoy two healthy meals with fruit and vegetables which is vital for their growth and well-being. The planned budget for 2021 shows may uncertainties and will have to be revised by mid-year.
The planning for the new Afterschool Care Centre is progressing – but slowly. The authorities have informed us that the planning of the new primary school on the neighbouring property has first priority and should be completed by end May. Only when all these hurdles have been overcome can we submit our application. Once again, great patience is necessary.
3. Most of the True-North EDC Centres have re-opened. Only a few had to close down as they had no financial reserves to get them through these difficult times. The others have adjusted well to the Covid-9 measures i.e. hands are disinfected at the gate and only half of all children are allowed to take turns in attending lessons every day. This is to ensure social distancing as most of the classroom are fairly small.
- Almost all children at Little Sunshine have returned – but only a few parents have paid any school fees thus far. Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt has offered to pay 50% of the wage costs for January and February. In most cases, the predomi-nantly female staff are the breadwinners for their families. Portia, the owner and principal of the ECD, will present her budget at the end of February – at which time consideration will be given to whether further support will be given or not.
- The new building for Nourish Educare is making good progress. If every-thing goes according to plan, the children – who are currently temporarily housed, will move into the new premises in June. Pretty told us that, at pre-sent, fewer children are returning as parents are waiting till the new building is completed. Pretty will present her budget shortly; meantime, the Wood Student Foundation is paying 50% of all wages for January and February.
- The Overcome Educare is not doing well financially because many parents no longer send their children to the Daycare as they are unemployed and have a lack of income. Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt have support Christine and her daughter with 50% of the wage costs for January and February. The ECD’s 2021 budget proposal will give us more clarify on how to proceed.
- Candice from In His Footsteps is over the moon after she learned that Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt will be raising funds for the construction of her new Educare Centre. True-North oversees the planning as well as the construc-tion management while Candice, as the owner and principal of the ECD, is ini-tiated into all processes, enabling her to assist other teachers at a later stage. Candice and her staff also receive 50% of the wage costs from Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt for January and February. Their proposed budget at the end of Feb-ruary will indicate whether further aid is needed.
4. The Bright Student Learning Centre is another project of the Wood Student Foundation. George Kuratle has been supporting these two schools for more than two years – enabling up to 500 students, mostly from neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe and Malawi, to receive a good edu-cation with a final Cambridge pass. The financial support is urgently needed as the school cannot hope for any state subsidies. The director, Sam Minzini, informed us that most students are attending classes again. The additional costs for hygiene and disinfectants are a big problem for the school but, to their great relief, the Wood Student Foundation will pay these costs for the first half of 2021.
Despite all the uncertainty plus the strict hygiene regulations and the requirement to wear a mask, all teachers are extremely motivated and happy to be back at work to teach the children the required curriculum.
We are excited that our first volunteer for this year, who comes from Brazil, has regis-tered at Little Lambs for 4 weeks in March.
Overall, it appears that, slowly but surely, there is adjustment to the general situation and a normality is returning – and we hope and pray that this will escalate in the coming months.
As briefly reported above, we have once again set ourselves big goals for 2021 and would appreciate your continued, generous donations and support.
Our regular updates are to keep you informed of all progress achieved as we focus on the upbringing, education and healthy nutrition of every child in our care. Furthermore, we strive to give each of these children the chance to grow in a loving, caring and pro-tected environment.
Our banking details are as follows:
Germany: Dietrich F. Liedelt Foundation, Hype Vereinsbank (Hamburg) IBAN: DE04 2003 0000 0602 0695 44, BIC: HYVEDEMM300, Reference: Kinderhilfe-Kapstadtca:
RSA: SEEDS Trust, Standard Bank, Constantia, Account No.: 076021459, Branch Code: 025309, Swift: SBZA-ZA-JJ, Reference: Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt
Thank you for your invaluable support!