Ikhwezilomso Creche ensures school readiness

Posted on Posted in Fundraising, Learners, School

It all started with a need

Ikhwezilomso Creche was started in Feb 2014 by local Chintsa East resident, Lindiwe Sigqaza. Lindiwe is a small and determined woman who is as gentle as she is strong. Her face takes on a new light when she talks about the children in her care and she is fierce in her belief that every child deserves a chance to succeed.

The idea to start the creche came to her when she was a support teacher in the African Angels’ Grade R (preparatory) class and realised that the children were not arriving at school with the basic academic foundation that they needed to thrive at school and maximise the educational opportunities African Angels offers.

African Angels offered its support for this great initiative

A measure of Lindiwe’s passion for education (which she shares with her husband Reuben) is how she managed to teach at African Angels AND manage Ikhwezilomso simultaneously, until 2019 at which time the team at African Angels was seeing the benefits of a quality early childhood education at Ikhwezilomso. The leadership team at African Angels decided to support Lindiwe to work in her own crèche. With this arrangement, Lindiwe was ‘transferred’ to work full time at Ikhwezilomso Creche, dedicating her energies to the making sure the little people attending Ikwezilomso were ‘school ready’. Principal of African Angels, Sharon Edworthy, supports Lindiwe with monthly planning meetings and the school sponsors learning materials and physical education equipment to ensure that the 65 children attending the creche have every opportunity to prepare themselves for formal primary schooling.

Local supporters help feed those most in need

The parents at Ikhwezilomso are often on minimum wage, and though the monthly fees are a minimal R150 per month for full time care, some still struggle. This means Ikhwezilomso continues to need extra support as Lindiwe tries to offer food to those children who need it. She is grateful for the food support she receives from the Cintsa East Church and the daily porridge from JAM, but it is often not enough for all the children at the creche

The need continues… Can you help?

Ikwezilomso is not situated on an ‘official’ plot in the township, and this has hampered Lindiwe’s ability to apply for funds from the Department of Social Development for the official subsidy offered to registered child care centres. The community has allocated new grounds for the creche and so begins the next major effort – to raise funds to build the classrooms, toilets and to buy the materials to fence the area to make it safe.

Of the 26 children who graduated from Grade R in 2020 with a firm foundation for their upcoming school careers, 18 will go on to primary school at African Angels.

The results are there to be seen

Sharon says, “Lindiwe was our Grade R assistant for eight years prior to her starting our Gr RR group so she knows exactly what is required of the children when they arrive at African Angels. She has a similar style of teaching, follows the same routines as the children will follow in Grade R and she instructs them in English. All of which eases the transition from Creche to Grade R so we find that her children are ready to get started on Grade R work as soon as they arrive at African Angels.”

Because of you Lindiwe’s salary for 2021 is covered

Lindiwe’s salary in 2021 has been sponsored by a generous donor who saw the incredible work she does with her children while travelling through South Africa in 2019. Through his generosity, African Angels is able to continue supporting Lindiwe’s salary for 2021.