Dear Friends,

The first quarter of this New Year has already passed and we can now update you with the latest developments – plus our continuing plans for 2021. All projects started warily into the new year. Nobody knew exactly what effects and consequences to expect the covid-19 situation to have on all EDC Centres. Now we know –and are relieved to report the ‘great wave of the Covid-19 contagion’ did not happen and so, many parents are once again entrusting their children to our care.

When necessary, and in agreement with Marlis Schaper, the SEEDS Trust/Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt support the following projects/partner organisations:

  • Little Lambs Christian Educare, Hout Bay
  • Heuwel Speelskool, Calitzdorp
  • True-North, Vrygrond
  • iKhaya le Themba, Hout Bay
  • Sakhisizwe Youth Organisation, Hout Bay
  1. Little Lambs Christian Educare

Colourful murals at Little Lambs ……………………………are enjoyed by children and parents alike

The enrolment of children was completed beginning of February and lessons then started as scheduled. The Covid-19 compliances still take up a lot of time in the morning and during the day – but they have proven to be effective and we are happy to report that not a single Covid-19 incident has been recorded since the reopening of our EDC in September 2020. However, due to Covid-19, the number of children registered has fallen from 300 to 260 children. This, of course, leads to a further loss of school fees. In addition, the parents’ payment behaviour leaves a lot to be desired and has an enormous impact on the budget. We suspect that the high unemployment and / or the current reduction of workdays (from full to part-time employment) of many Mothers is the cause.

This term we hope to sponsor the training of two teachers, Veronika Mvalo and Roberta Kaluba; both have been working as Assistant Teachers at Little Lambs for several years. They are empathetic carers and love their work with the children. Veronika and Roberta come from Zimbabwe and do not have South African identity documents nor workpermits – although both ladies have applied for legal status a long time ago. It is imperative that these two women attend college to get their Level 4 qualifications; however, as foreigners, they are not entitled to be government- subsidised – and thus the R25,000 full cost for their individual training is required.,

2. Heuwel Speelskool, Calitzdorp

Finally, we can report that the third EDC building of the Heuwel Speelskool in Calitzdorp has been completed – thanks to the enormous commitment and supervision of Klaus and Ursula Triebe. The new building is to serve as an afterschool care centre and offers space for about 100 children. Various assessments are currently underway with regard to the requirements of the Department of Social Development; all of which must be implemented before the ECD can open. Other cost factors to be taken into account are the salaries for additional teachers and the increased food requirements.

The 3 Buildings of the Heuwel Speelskool in Calitzdorp

Experience has shown that colourful murals have a particularly positive effect on the psyche of children and parents. For this reason, years ago Marlis had the walls of Little Lambs painted with such murals. As soon as a cost estimate is available and financial support has been guaranteed, the painting of similar murals can be realized. The sight will be amazing – not only for the children and all resident of the neighbouring Bergsig township, but for motorists driving passing by on R62 highway from Calitzdorp to Outdshoorn.

During our last visit, Klaus told us about the appalling financial situation of many parents who are either seasonal workers or do not have any employment at all. This often leads to alcohol abuse and domestic violence and the victims are always women and children. Ursula and Klaus do not have the heart to send the children home if the parents do not pay the school fees of ZAR 70 per month. At least at the Heuwel Speelskool, children receive two healthy meals, enjoy security and are able to learn and play – everything that no child should be without. It is therefore very important to us to continue to financially support the Heuwel Speelskool and the Afterschool Care project enabling as many children as possible to be educate and cared for.

3.  

In Overcome Heights and Vrygrond, the NPO, True-North, oversees 29 ECD’s with a total of 146 teachers and 1,360 children. Almost all of these kindergartens are housed in tin huts (so-called ‘shacks’). The most important aim of True-North is to promote the training of the 29 Principals and the Teachers through their ‘rainbow system’. The next step then is to register the ECD’s with the Department of Social Development – which only then enables Principals to apply for the desperately needed government grants without which no EDC Centre in townships can financially survive. One of the greatest challenges, however, is the government department’s requirement that every EDC must be housed in a ‘decent, child-friendly building”.

The construction of new ECD facilities thus remains another vitally important aim of True-North – to which Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt has now also committed. The urgency of this aim lies in the fact that women (Principals and Teachers) also gain financial independence with these government grants and they can then take on responsibility for their own ECD Centre and support their families. This year a new building is planned for “in His Footsteps” ECD which is owned by Candice Mkosana. Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt wants to support this with around ZAR 2 million. Tue-North will be responsible for and manage the planning and construction work.

Candice in front of her present ECD Centre
Plans of the new In His Footsteps Building

We are experiencing in Overcome and Vrygrond, as in all other townships, that parents are falling behind with paying school fees – resulting in a drop in income for the ECD Centres and Principals are not able to pay the already extremely low teachers’ salaries. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt and the Wood Student Foundation have jointly paid between 40% and 60% of the wage costs of the following ECD Centres:

Overcome Educare in Overcome Heights
Little Sunshine Educare
Nourish Educare
In His Footsteps Educare

The goal, however, remains that these kindergartens will, as quickly as possible, ultimately support themselves when recognized by the Department of Social Development and thus gain access to government grants. Three of these kindergartens are already in the fortunate position of being housed in buildings conducive to learning. Presently, “In his Footsteps” is waiting for their plans to be approved before construction work can begin and, at Overcome Educare, an urgent roof renovation is imminent. We look forward to sending a progress report in our next Newsletter.

As every year, we continue to strive to support all our projects in one way or the other – but especially those in severe financial need. It is our aim to empower the Principals and staff, thus enabling them to move forward to become more and more efficient in their teaching ability and childcare. Thank you for your ongoing trust and support, ensuring continuation and growth of these projects – which in turn make an extraordinary contribution to an efficient pre-school education and provide hope for the future of many under-privileged children.

We are happy to welcome all children back to the various ECD Centres

Without your valued support, it would be extremely difficult for SEEDS / Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt to assist these projects.
Our banking details are as follows:

Dietrich F. Liedelt Stiftung, Hypo Vereinsbank (Hamburg); IBAN: DE04 2003 0000 0602 0695 44; BIC: HYVEDEMM300, Verwendungszweck: Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt.

SEEDS Trust, Standard Bank, Constantia, Account No.: 076021459, Branch Code: 025309, Swift: SBZA-ZA-JJ,
Reference: Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt.

Thank you for your invaluable support!

Warm regards
Elke and Marlis