Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 40
Enil Edam Early Childhood Development Centre takes its name from a 2013 survivor tribe, where a certain contestant proposed that his newly merged team take his mother’s name – Madeline – and spell it backwards. For the team, it was a whole new beginning.
This is a hint as to the wonders that an easy sense of resourcefulness and playfulness can do for a struggling community. Founded in 2016 by Dimakatso Ramadivhana, who had recently been left unemployed, the ECD centre started out in Dimakatso’s daughter’s bedroom in her parents’ RDP house in Mamelodi, with one single student.
Times changed and word spread of Dimakatso’s way with children and the number of parents asking Dimakatso for help increased dramatically. Mamelodi East, the Gauteng township in which Enil Edam is situated, isn’t a place most parents want to leave their young children to roam around in – the sky-high crime statistics make that impossible.
These days, it’s no longer just Dimakatso, and it’s no longer just one child in one room. Enil Edam takes care of 40 children from the ages of 9 months to 6 years daily, with a recently started aftercare program to top it off.
At the centre, which is still located in Dimakatso’s parents’ RDP house (only with more space these days) the team of 4 does everything from teaching the babies to walk and talk, to preparing the grade RR and R’s for formal schooling. They cook for them, they sing with them, they go running on the local sports grounds with them – they make a children’s paradise of sorts, in the midst of a lot of hardship.
“Welcome to Enil Edam,” the first sign you see as you walk onto the grounds reads. “Have you hugged your child today?”
Dimakatso is proud to say that she receives lots of support from her community, who help her with everything from donations to fundraising. The community, however, are themselves struggling to survive. Looming on Dimakatso’s mind regularly is the need for proper premises for the centre – not a few rooms at the back of her parents’ home, but a real building where real change can happen.
Through monthly fees from parents, Enil Edam is able to pay its teachers and basic expenses. The team handles the sacrifices that often need to be made – for proper stationery, for example – with grace, but dreams of being able to afford swings for the playground area.
Photographer: N/A | Voice Artist: Mawande Ndywamba | Writer: Anè Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Babies, Children and Youth, Development, ECD, Education