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Inkanyezi Créche Development Program

By April 11, 2016 No Comments

THIS PROJECT IS COMPLETE

The project aims to renovate, improve and maintain the créche, making it a safe, comfortable, functional environment for both children and staff.Improved conditions, facilities, and staff training at the créche contribute to a secure learning environment that will be able to provide children with the quality care and education they deserve.

Project located in St Lucia, South Africa
Project focused on Education and Enrichment

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Inkanyezi Créche was a small, dark, wooden hut with a leaking roof and only a few small windows. The children who attended the créche were forced to endure uncomfortable, damp and dark conditions. The structure provided little shelter against the elements, hot and stuffy in summer and cold and wet in winter. This difficult learning environment meant that children could not relax or concentrate at the créche, and did not feel safe and secure while at school, especially as there was no fencing around the school.

The precarious facilities and general accommodation also prevent the créche from being registered to the government, which funds early childhood development facilities that comply with a lot of criteria.

St Lucia is located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Eastern South Africa. Still ruled by the Zulu royal family, the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal maintain a very traditional way of life. Sadly, the population of KwaZulu-Natal has been devastated by the effects of poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Some districts around St Lucia are ranked as amongst the most deprived districts in South Africa. This is calculated using a combination of indicators including unemployment rates, access to piped water and electricity, low education levels and female-headed households with high numbers of children.

The reconstruction of Inkanyezi Créche not only seeks to improve the quality of the school, but also aims to get the créche registered by the government, so that it can receive funding from the department. For this, there are regulations the créche must follow that the old structure was not in compliance with.

Our efforts must be concentrated on ensuring that the newly-developed créche complies with these government standards. To achieve our goal we must renovate, improve and maintain the créche, making it a safe, comfortable, functional environment for both children and staff.

Needs to be done to improve the facility:
• Erect a fence around the school’s property to secure the land not only for the protection of the children but to demonstrate the dimensions of the school’s property and provide security. This fence will also include a lockable gate to secure the créche and resources inside when the students and teachers return home for the day.

• Build a secure, safe classroom from bricks, replacing the old wooden classroom structure.

• Provide the children and teachers with a sanitary toilet block.

• Institute a water collection system at the créche, which is chronically short of water, which will collect rain into a large tank to be stored, and also install a washbasin.

• Build a hygienic and equipped kitchen so that the créche is able to provide meals to the toddlers, and also begin a small farming plot on the property to supplement the children’s diets with fresh vegetables.

• Create a sickbay area for children who are ill, and a separate area dedicated for staff.

• Provide the créche with as many resources as possible including desks, chairs, educational posters, etc.

Short-Term Impact:
The improvement of the facilities will enhance the working conditions for the staff, provide a quiet, dedicated place for the toddlers and ensure that the children can be fed healthy meals every day.

The existence of a quality créche means that parents will have a safe, trusted place to leave their children when they go to work.

Long-Term Impact:
The creation of a safer, more secure environment for learners enhances the longevity of Inkanyezi Créche. The better the quality of care, the more families will want to send their children to Inkanyezi, which ensures that the créche will continue to grow and influence the lives of more children in the area.

The registration of the créche will ensure Inkanyezi receives needed help from the government so that the teachers will continue to educate and take care of the children in a safe and loving environment.

KwaZulu-Natal
The province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Eastern South Africa borders the countries of Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. As its name suggests, it is the birthplace of the proud Zulu nation. Still ruled by the Zulu royal family, the rural areas of KZN maintain a very traditional way of life. Sadly, the population of KwaZulu-Natal has been devastated by the effects of poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A staggering 40.2% of people in the province are estimated to be infected with HIV, and about 10% of these have full-blown AIDS.

The Happy Africa Foundation has two projects in KZN; one in the coastal town of St. Lucia and one in the rural district of Umkhanyakude, in and around Thanda game reserve.

Khula Village
Khula Village, situated just ten minutes outside of the coastal town of St. Lucia in KZN, is home to more than 13 000 people. Many of the villagers are either farm workers or employed in the local town of St. Lucia on government programmes. Although still a fairly new settlement, this ever-developing village has a clinic, a primary school, a high school, various créches and many community buildings and shops. Building renovations are carried out constantly.

According to local non-governmental organisations, an estimated 70-80% of Khula’s population is infected with HIV.

Ezwenelisha
Ezwenelisha Village is set in the beautiful rural landscape of the East Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, about 20 minutes outside of St. Lucia. A genuinely traditional, rural village in the heart of Zululand, Ezwenelisha is home to a warm and welcoming people.

The rural layout of the village means that residents’ homes are located far from the clinic, school and shops. Many houses are built by the government and are fair-sized concrete structures that provide good shelter. However, travelling is difficult because of a lack of reliable public transport, and as a result many people aren’t able to secure jobs in the nearby town of St. Lucia. Large parts of Ezwenelisha do not have running water and people still have to walk to the nearest river or pond to gather water for drinking and cooking.

The majority of Ezwenelisha’s inhabitants work in the nearby sugarcane and pulp and paper industries. The community’s proximity to various agricultural industries means that it is both home to and frequented by migrant workers. Unfortunately, this makes the area particularly susceptible to high HIV/AIDS rates. Like Khula, it is believed that approximately 70-80% of the community’s population is infected with the virus.

Achieved So Far:

In 2011 a secure fence and gate was put up. In 2012 enough funds were raised to build a classroom for Mama G and the children of Inkanyezi. By 2014 a playground and three toilets were built also to give the children a safe area to play as well as a clean environment to stay. A basic 8m x 7m classroom was built and decorated with many new educational posters and resources. A number of children’s tables and chairs were added to enhance the classroom and the school’s lessons. A water collection system and JoJo tank were installed to provide the créche with a more sustainable source of water. A garden was created with seedlings to provide nutritionally balanced meals for the children. The facilities have allowed Mama G and her staff to empower themselves to structure real educational lessons for the children. The crèche is continuing to run smoothly and with a good number of attendees.

By 2016 the number of kids attending had decreased so we felt there was a greater need at Siyanqoba Creche where we can have a bigger impact on the larger part of the community. This creche falls under our Educational Support Program.

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