Founded in 2011, we had a very specific goal in mind: to create better opportunities for children in the farming community. This being a rural area with limited access to basic facilities, we decided to intervene.
- Pre-school children are the most vulnerable. Their parents often work full time and they are left with family members who cannot give them the basic pre-school stimulation needed.
- Children reach school age without the necessary level of emotional and/or physical development and never catch up.
- Very few children from this community complete or even attend secondary school.
2011 to 2013 can best be described as a process of trial and error! Several projects did not succeed even though they clearly tackled a serious need.
- We managed a swop shop to provide children with useful and educational items in exchange for recyclables
- We often arranged outings for inspiration and motivation
- We started a cross-country club for physical development
The participation of children was great, yet projects had a “charity” flavour to them and too few adult community members were involved. This was not conducive to sustainable development and transformation.
The Early Childhood Education Centre opened its doors in February 2014 with a re-formulated goal: to assist and empower the community to work together and to tackle personal problems head-on instead of relying on initiatives from third parties that often include a culture of hand-outs.
The educators-in-training are ladies from the farming community, most of whom had been unemployed before joining the programme. They are our agents of change that open pathways to other projects.
A dynamic, developing community who accepts ownership for a future filled with hope.
Community transformation in the Paardeberg through education, empowerment and exploration:
Early Childhood Development Centre and educational activities with the primary school children.
Training for educators and parents so that they can guide and empower children and become the agents of change in the community.
Outings, events and camps that help children and other community members to develop self-assurance and a more positive personal vision.
Over the past 8 years we have been allowed to use different spaces in existing buildings on farms and at the local primary school to run the activities. This enabled us to use all donations and funds for programmes and the minimum was spent on infrastructure and maintenance.
In 2018 some activities had to be called off when we lost access to rooms and the lack of a permanent address, especially for activities for primary school children, is now hindering progress.
We have applied for the rezoning of a piece of agricultural land on the farm Jakkalsfontein in order to be able to construct a community centre dedicated to education. This building will include an ECD centre that will allow us to take in more than the 50 children we can currently accommodate, a community library and multi-functional spaces that can be used for activities for the primary school children (music classes/ chess practice) and hopefully adult classes (literacy/ different life skills) as well.
This development will require more funding than we have ever needed to get access to before. If you would like to help us reach this dream, see how you can help.