Build Leaders of Tomorrow One ECD at a Time by Collaborating with a Local NPO

Before

From 1 April 2022, the Department of Basic Education will be taking over early childhood development (ECD) functions as part of Government’s commitment to provide all young South Africans with access to quality ECD programmes by 2030. Currently, an estimated 1.24 million children between the ages of three and five are not attending an early learning programme, and over 75% of these kids are underprivileged. So, those who are most in need are being neglected. While Government is working to rectify this, there are exciting opportunities available for the private sector to bolster these efforts.

Please find a full press release below outlining how businesses can boost early childhood education and help break the cycle of poverty.

After

  From 1 April 2022, the Department of Basic Education will be taking over early childhood development (ECD) functions as part of Governments commitment to provide all young South Africans with access to quality ECD programmes by 2030. Currently, an estimated 1.24 million children between the ages of three and five are not attending an early learning programme [i], and over 75% of these kids are underprivileged[ii]. So, those who are most in need are being neglected. While Government is working to rectify this, there are exciting opportunities available for the private sector to bolster these efforts.    

This is according to Samantha Massey, Project Manager at Santa Shoebox (SSB) Legacy, which uses donations from corporates and private individuals to permanently uplift the lives of children and their families by transforming ECD centres in rural and underprivileged communities throughout SA. The first five years of a childs life are crucial for developing the social, cognitive, emotional and language skills upon which future learning, economic productivity, and responsible citizenship are built, so missing out is a massive problem.”    

Partnerships are key to achieve permanent change   

Massey shares that Government alone cant solve this challenge. SSB Legacy develops sustainable solutions that corporates and private individuals can adopt and which SSB Legacy implements and manages. We apply a holistic approach to the projects we undertake. We look at the broader issues affecting the communities with which we work and determine the right partners to ensure that we create a lasting impact. Involvement with these projects also ensures participating companies’ compliance with Corporate Social Investment and Socio-Economic Development scorecards.”    

All SSB Legacy projects incorporate six pillars of transformation – Infrastructure and Registration, Training, Water, Literacy, Gardens, and ongoing Mentoring & Support. All of these seek to address several societal issues such as the need for educational funding, the demand for training among educators, access to potable water, increasing the literacy rate and early childhood nutrition for growth and development. Uplifting communities holistically and sustainably, not only contributes towards socio-economic development but also supports the achievement of a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” says Massey.   

Paving the way to give SAs children a bright future    

Last year, for instance, funds were used to build a creche on a farm outside Ceres and to install reading hubs in 25 ECD centres in the Samora Machel community in Cape Town. Caregivers and teachers at these facilities also underwent training in various educational programmes, which included anti-bullying workshops.   

In 2020, new premises were built for the Soul City Creche in the Loskop district of rural KwaZulu-Natal. The original building was constructed using sticks and mud bricks, and as a result, required regular repairs due to the humid and rainy conditions in the area. The new brick building helped earn the creche a Department of Social Development registration, which had long been out of reach due to the lack of basic infrastructure.   

Over the next three years, SSB Legacy is set to build more ECD centres, in addition to their involvement with library and water projects that will positively impact children at the new facilities and in the surrounds.   

As President Ramaphosa once said, If we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor. SSB Legacy invites business to collaborate – together we will support early learning and the development of holistic skills, ensuring these impoverished children thrive and reach their full potential in life,” concludes Massey.   

For businesses interested in donating to the SSB Legacy Fund, visit https://santashoebox.org.za/legacy-2/ or for further information email samantha@santashoebox.org.za