Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 110
Ripfumelo Crèche is living breathing proof of the good that can come about when a community combines strengths in order to better itself.
Arthurstone Village sits in Bushbuckridge, a Mpumalanga municipality that is struggling on nearly every count: households without potable water are many and literate residents and job opportunities are few. Children who are below school-going age are vulnerable to abuse and neglect, and in 2001, when crèches in the village were few, they weren’t being prepared for school.
Sinky Mahlakoane and several other Arthurstone community members came together in that year in an attempt to break the evident cycle of poverty in the village by creating a space where young children could go in the daytime. They began operating in the garage of a community member – doing their best to feed and teach their beneficiaries with the space available to them.
In 2010, the South African National Lottery made a giant difference to their whole operation by donating enough money for them to be able to build a building of their own, where they are still located today.
Ripfumelo’s walls are snaked with friendly painted letters and the colourful handprints of their students. Between these walls, Arthurstone Village’s children from 0 – 5 are fed and cared for daily, as well as prepared for primary school. When they graduate from Ripfumelo, they take the knowledge that has been imparted upon them and go right next door, which is where the village’s primary school is conveniently located
The team of 8 includes teachers, cooks, and a gardener. Though the crèche exists for the safety and development of the village’s children, it has also brought about a much-needed creation of employment in an area where jobs are as scarce as drinking water.
Sinky explains that she and her team are grateful for the help they receive – which includes, along with the Lotto’s donation, a Social Development Grant – but that the large number of children outnumber the mouths they are able to feed. Monthly fees from parents range from R80 to R100, but aren’t something Ripfumelo can depend upon, as many parents are unemployed or still schoolchildren themselves.
Photographer: N/A | Voice Artist: Sisipho Mbopa | Writer: Anè Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Babies, Children and Youth, Development, ECD, Education, Literacy