Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 140
In 1898, Lydia Ngobeni came to a conclusion. It went something like this:
The early years of childhood is of absolute importance. Running and playing and learning, and being fed good, nutritious food and being a child, is not a luxury but very likely a contributing factor to healthy adulthood.
Only, her village of Huntington, Mpumalanga, was not only too poor to be able to feed their young one’s nutritious food, or worry about teaching them the virtues of educating play, but also had no crèche-like institution where parents could send their kids to get this kind of early childhood education.
She spoke to her community, and in an old abandoned home in the area Henna Crèche began taking in the Huntington babies and toddlers with the aim to take care of them during the day, but to in a bigger sense, change the future of Huntington Village by fostering worthiness and education from an early age.
For ten years, Lydia and her team taught, played, and fed their students in their abandoned-house-crèche. The community donated tables and toys, and groups of women brought over vegetables from their gardens. It was working, but there wasn’t space for the number of children that needed their care, and a bigger space was desperately necessary.
Towards the late nineties, a visiting Roman Catholic priest came to their rescue by setting in motion the construction of proper premises, and by the time the new building was completed in 2001, Henna Creche had over 140 students.
It is in this building that they operate to this day. At the moment, the team of 12 nurtures 145 students between the ages of 1 and 4, preparing them for Grade R and (they hope) successful adulthoods. A usual day at the crèche begins at 8 am with Devotion and ends at around 2 pm after lunch and a nap. In between, the team fosters learning through playful activities.
These days, the centre has 2 of their own vegetable gardens, so meals are nutrient-filled as can be, but vegetables can only get them so far.
The crèche receives R70 per child per month from the parents who can afford to pay, as well as a government subsidy. All of this helps, but isn’t quite enough, and they often cannot afford all the food and stationary they need. They are also in need of classroom assistants, which falls beyond the scope of their budget.
Photographer: Charlotte Arthun from Digital Storyteller | Voice Artist: Esona Mangcaka | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Community, Development, Education