Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R4,950.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 1 | Amount of People in Need: 47
As a Bhobhoyi native and passionate community worker, it is Lindiwe Mhlongo’s job description to go around homes and ensure her community’s wellbeing. In 2013, while going door-to-door in her area, which is about five minutes’ drive from Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal, two simple facts became clear to her:
First, that the adults in the area were uneducated and employed mostly sporadically and always in low-paying, low-skilled jobs, and second, that the children of these adults were being ignored at best and outright abused at worst.
What if it was all a cycle? she wondered. What if the way Bhobhoyi was treating its community members under 5 years old were making them into adults that would go on to leave school before obtaining matric, work in low-skilled minimum wage jobs, and treat their own children’s upbringing as unimportant as theirs was to their parents.?
By 2014 Lindiwe and her colleagues had successfully rallied community leaders for enough support to found Iminathi Crèche, the first of its kind in the area. It’s aim? To set solid foundations for Bhobhoyi’s littlest ones, so that the community as a whole might be improved in the long run.
It was a slow beginning, and for the first few years the crèche operated from the home of a volunteer. Eventually, however, the municipality provided the team with a building, and it is from here that they operate to this day.
Education and care, Lindiwe will tell you, are their two biggest goals, and the team of 5 provide this, along with 2 meals a day, to their 60 students. Their ages range from infancy to 5 years old, after which Iminathi’s ‘graduates’ will go on to study grade R in one of the nearby primary schools.
A social development grant allows the crèche to feed its students and pay its staff a small stipend. This is supplemented by what parents can muster in terms of fees – those who can afford it pay anything between R50 and R80 per child per month.
All in all, this isn’t enough for staff to live on or for the building to be properly maintained.
Photographer: N/A | Voice Artist: Mawande Ndywamba | Writer: Anè Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Babies, Children and Youth, Development, Education