Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 26
The great city of Johannesburg isn’t only home to high-flying business executives and cushy housing estates. On the contrary, there are thousands of men, women and children living in impoverished communities with precious little resources with which to survive. One of the most affected areas in Gauteng is Regents Park, an up-and-coming area with lots of potential, but sadly, lots of suffering too – particularly by the younger generation.
For these reasons, Bapedi Early Childhood Development Centre was founded as a way to uplift the children of Regents Park. Manager Virginia Mbatha got involved when Bapedi’s founder, Stella, her late stepmother, passed away. Virginia dropped everything and moved to this area of Regents Park to help out. She quickly fell head over heels in love with the children she met there and realized that she had found her true calling: to help young ones in need reach their full potential mentally, emotionally and physically.
There are currently 26 little ones aged 1 – 6 years at Bapedi ECD Centre, not all of whom can afford the nominal school fees asked. This does not stop Virginia and her 3 staff members from embracing each and every child into the group and letting them in. She has an unwavering love for each individual child and, more than anything, wants to see them flourish, learn, grow and be happy. At Bapedi ECD Centre, their motto is, “Through Play, We Learn.”
Preparing nutritious meals for these underprivileged little ones is of utmost importance to keep their bodies and minds healthy, but without the money, Bapedi simply cannot offer enough food for them. They currently receive no funding, which is a major hindrance to the development of the ECD centre. Virginia’s elderly father has gone so far as to sacrifice his monthly pension to keep it afloat.
Virginia’s dream for Bapedi is to feed every child they have, expand the centre to accommodate more classes and to have outside play equipment for children to explore, exercise and develop their motor skills. With financial aid and just a little bit of time, Bapedi ECD Centre could revolutionize the way this lower-income community raises its children.
Photographer: Leora Hart from Leora Hart Photography | Voice Artist: Noku Katom | Writer: Chelsea de Beer