Little Lambs provides Early Childhood Development services and care to the people of the community Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay (near Cape Town). Through this project and various partner organisations, SEEDS Trust strives to make these and other services available to as many people as possible to provide hope for the future.
About Little Lambs
Founded in 1999 the vision of Little Lambs is to create an Early Childhood Development facility for the Imizamo Yethu community where children are cared for in a loving environment, are taught Christian values and basic life skills, and are prepared for formal schooling by employing members of the community and empowering them to become competent career educators.
Little Lambs has been operating from its current location for 13 years with good success. The project has grown to cater for underprivileged children in Hout Bay and surrounding areas, employing 13 appropriately trained teachers from the local community. It currently educates and feeds around 300 children within an annual budget of R2.5 million. Little Lambs is housed on a campus comprising 11 classrooms, staff offices and well-equipped green playgrounds.
Little Lambs continues to receive capital for project funding, mainly from Germany and Switzerland through its parent the SEEDS Trust and from “Kinderhilfe Kapstadt”. The operating costs are serviced from interest earned from the invested capital, monthly school fees paid by the parents, Social Services and Department of Education grants and from sponsorships and donations made by local businesses and individuals.
The operations are well managed within approved budgets and a sound basis for the future is in place.
Our mission is to give the children of Little Lambs that vital head start for their successful lives in the future South Africa, by pursuing the following clear purpose:
- Our main objective is to provide children aged 1 to 6 years with high quality holistic Early Childhood Development in an environment which is conducive to early learning, thus giving them that extra head start and preparing them for school.
- Answer to the substantial demand for pre-primary education and care in Cape Town’s informal settlements.
- Provide the children with balanced nutrition that is a crucial factor in the physical and mental development of youth in their early life stages.
- Teach children the English language and personal hygiene and care.
- Enable parents of historically disadvantaged backgrounds to integrate into the South African workforce by providing safe, nurturing and reliable space/care for their children while at work.
- Create employment with reasonable pay within the community, for the community, to help break the cycle of poverty.
- Create a space of interaction for members from different national, social, ethnic and economic backgrounds.
IMIZAMO YETHU, HOUT BAY
WHERE WE ARE
The township or informal settlement of Imizamo Yethu is situated in the picturesque seaside suburb of Hout Bay in Cape Town. Hout Bay is like a microcosm of South Africa, with a wealthy, mainly white community, living alongside the poorer black community in Imizamo Yethu, and a so-called ‘coloured’ community in the township of Hangklip near the harbour.
Imizamo Yethu has a population of roughly 30,000 residents, who are mainly of Xhosa speaking origin from the Eastern Cape together with immigrants from the rest of Africa. The informal settlement was established in the early 1990s when 450 families who had been squatting in shacks around Hout Bay were moved to this new area on the side of a mountain overlooking the harbour. The population of the township has mushroomed since then, as black people in search of work, education and a better future settled there.
Although much as been done, housing needs are still at a critical level with many people being forced to live in temporary shelters out of corrugated iron, called “shacks“. The settlement has dismal water facilities with no sewerage system and proper toilets for the greater part of these people; the area is also a very high-risk fire area and carries with it poor emergency services access. Due to the high unemployment, many homes have problems with alcohol, drugs, gangsterism, woman/child abuse and crime.