THE SLABBERTS DAYCARE CENTER BRINGING JOY, JOBS AND EDUCATION TO A SMALL, RURAL VILLAGE.
In the village of Slabberts, a few kilometers outside of Bethlehem, Tshepang Educare Trust has been busy training teachers and building a daycare center that is changing
lives for the families who live there and work at the neighbouring Denmar dairy farm.
It’s a beautiful part of the country and the village is quiet
and picturesque, despite the obvious hardships of living without infrastructure like electricity and plumbing.
In this community, there are approximately twenty young children who have no formal childcare. Tshepang Educare Trust began visiting the village once or twice a week in late 2017, bringing our mobile toy library equipped with educational toys, books and food for the children.
The program was an immediate success and we could see the community was hungry for more interventions, so we decided that, as a training institution, Tshepang would empower some of the mothers to become teachers and early-childhood practitioners. “We don’t only want to give people services, we want to give them the skills so that they can one day take over and educate their children themselves,’ explains Judy Andrew, the Director of Tshepang.
At the same time that the training of the teachers began, Tshepang identified a rundown, abandoned building in the village that could function as a daycare center.
It was completely dilapidated, and the project was daunting but, together with the community, we started the slow process of fixing it up.
Denmar Dairies were very involved in this whole initiative and they decided that they would start a fundraising drive which involved a golf day, in order to raise money for the center.
The fundraising was a big success and the team got down
to work - cleaning, painting, repairing, putting up fences, carpeting and much, much more.
The results have been a real game-changer for the community, and they are only going to get better from here. The center was formally launched in early October and we project that the building will be completed in the new year.
For the first time, there is a community center and a warm, safe place in the village that the children can walk to, receive the right nutrition and stimulation to set them on
the path to a brighter future.
We have also created an outdoor area with a
jungle gym and other toys to play with
when the weather is good.
One of the most gratifying aspects of the project is that the parents are willing and able to make a monthly contribution to their children’s education.
This is not a common occurrence in underprivileged communities, but it reflects how important this project is to the people of Slabberts.
By training teachers and offering facilities, and with the support of Denmar Dairy, real progress is being made. Of course there is still a lot of work to do, but this project has been a real success for the Tshepang team, and we are very grateful for everyone who has gotten involved so far and contributed their time and money to this worthy cause.