Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R4,900.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 2 | Amount of People in Need: 62
Meriam Mthombeni doesn’t just teach kids – she eats, sleeps, and breathes them.
It’s a good thing she does what she does: she’s teacher and carer to 62 of her Limpopo township’s young children. In fact, she founded the very centre in which they gather every day.
Loveday Nursery Centre isn’t a one-woman show, though. Meriam is helped in her mission to develop Nkowankowa’s children by a permanent team of five. The entire team is aided on and off by the mothers of their students, which stems from an unofficial agreement Meriam has with the parents of her students.
If you can’t pay this month, fair enough. You can come help out instead.
This kind of understanding, in turn, stems from the centre’s raison d’etre: to provide a safe place of learning to ALL of the township’s children. South African or not; able to pay or not.
The team gathers with their students in the same building Meriam’s husband built for them over 20 years ago. Inside, they do what they can to separate their children according to age and ability, but space isn’t abundant.
There is a general air of making-do about Loveday Nursery Centre’s premises. On any given day, you’ll find students making artwork out of old cereal boxes and toys out of margarine containers.
The team receives help from the Department of Social Development, but only for 39 of the children. That gets supplemented by R150 p/m from parents who can afford to pay it.
The centre neighbours two extremely poor villages, and are in an ongoing struggle to keep their premises safe from thieves, who tend to take everything that isn’t nailed to the ground – including the children’s swings.
A proper fence would be of immeasurable value to the team, as well as help with upgrading their outside play area.
Photographer: Mosa Mailula from Abelife Designs & Productions (Pty) Ltd. | Voice Artist: Sisipho Mbopa | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Development, ECD, Education