Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R4,900.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 1 | Amount of People in Need: 75
Bridget Oppenheimer Pre-School has no single founder. Like many great institutions, the pre-school was – and is – a joint effort; a collective project that stemmed from a dissatisfaction with the circumstances as they were.
The pre-school has its beginnings in the early 1950s when mothers in Dlamini – a section of Soweto – found themselves increasingly in need of a place to take care of their young children while they worked. Together, they conceived of a plan for a pre-school, and in those beginning years the school’s 30-something students were cared for in the house of one of the mothers who volunteered as a caretaker.
They had no proper premises and the conditions weren’t ideal, but mothers were going to work knowing that their children were being looked after.
Somewhere during these early years, some of the mothers met with Bridget Oppenheimer, the warm-hearted wife of Harry Oppenheimer, who took delight in their cause and set in motion the building of the premises from which the pre-school operates to this day.
The team of 8 prides itself on offering Dlamini’s young ones a real opportunity for early childhood education. Far from its days of being simply a place of care, Bridget Oppenheimer Pre-School has a daily program filled with everything from painting to role-play. They follow a CAPS program and place a big emphasis on the idea that no child should be left behind – evident in their ‘afternoon ring’, where great care is taken to ensure that each and every one of the 75 students have comprehended the day’s lesson.
Many of the students’ parents are unemployed, and the team makes allowance for this by having two separate monthly fees – one for working parents, and one for parents who are unemployed. They also receive a quarterly government grant, with which they are able to pay stipends to the staff and buy groceries, but they need additional assistance with both food and stationery items.
Principal Mapule Hoee dreams of adding a boarding service to the pre-school, so that children of parents who work long, gruelling hours, have a loving place to stay during the week.
Photographer: Kagiso Mfikoe from Xtreme Photograpics | Voice Artist: Esona Mangcaka | Writer: Anè Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Development, ECD, Education, Literacy