Vulinqondo Day Care Centre

A day care centre for pre-school children in the Bambanani Village providing basic learning through play, an introduction to English, meals and a safe space for parents to leave their children.

History

Having been introduced to the area earlier in 2010, Ian Campbell organised Christmas Day Lunch for the families of the community. He has repeated this every year since and has found it to be well attended.

Early in Ian’s interaction with the area and the community, the need for a nursery school was identified in October 2011. A rudimentary mud hut school was built and on the 31 January 2012 the school was opened with 30 young children aged 3-5 years attending.  Initially all funding for the project came from Ian himself and donations both local and international.

In 2014 an NPO was formed: ‘Vulinqondo Day Care Centre’ and partial funding for the nursery school was obtained from the Department of Social Development.

This year the entry age for the children has been lowered to 2 years in response to the needs of the community. This has increased regular attendance to 43 children.

A BEE partner of Eskom has, this year (2019), donated a pair of pre-fabricated classrooms to the day centre and a palisade fence has been erected to provide security and safeguarding of the pupils.

Mission

Provide the young children of the Skaaprus area with a safe and caring environment with access to a reception stage education, some English language and to provide food, clothing and water. We aim to provide for both mental and physical needs that will positively impact their future.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela

 Food

The correct sustenance is crucial in a child's early development and the biggest responsibility of the day care centre is to provide a safe environment so that their parents can work and also nutritious meals for the children in their care. This also takes pressure off the children's parents leading to a better quality of life all around. The children are fed 4 times a day with breakfast, a morning snack, lunch and a home time snack. Meat is in short supply amongst the households of the community and so there is a preference to provide meat at least once a week in the children’s diet.

The weekly menu is outlined below and is subject to budget constraints:

  • Breakfast: Oats & Mealie meal or Sorghum Porridge & milk or bread

  • Snack (twice a day): Fruit or bread, Yoghurt (once a week)

  • Lunch: milk/corned beef/pilchards with mealie pap with Vegetables

  • Meat meal (once a week): Chicken and vegetable stew.

The children’s meals are prioritised above all other expenditure, including wages.

To date an estimated 75 children have graduated to primary school from the nursery school in the years that it has been running.

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Route Children's Trust has just (June 2019) commited to provide e-pap to the nursery for the next 12 months! This will make a great difference in the provision of breakfast for the youngsters.

Crime

Since the Day Care Centre opened crime in the area has dropped in a marked way. Ian was told by a local police officer that 6 years ago Skaaprus was the first place that the police would go if there was trouble in the CBD. Now they hardly come at all. The impact of a safe place for children has a broader reach than just for the children themselves.

#Laughing child

Unintended consequences

We believe that the introduction of regular food and a safe space for children to be while their parents are at work means that parents are not as desperate for money so they can pursue honest livings and know that their children are safe and fed without the need to turn to crime when times are tough. This is an unintended but very welcome consequence!

Odoo • Image and Text

Facilities

On the newly fenced site, there are 2 classrooms, A kitchen and food store, sick room and playground, as well as 2 outside toilets. Some water for the centre is provided by a borehole, some is collected rainwater and the remaining requirement is brought in by Ian. 

The centre is staffed with an NQF5 (ECD) qualified headteacher (who is currently on paid Maternity leave), 1 full-time teacher, 1 temporary teacher (while the headteacher is on leave), a cook and security guard who lives nearby and looks after the site.

A Huge Thank You to our Donors

None of what we do at the Day Care Centre would be possible if it weren't for the generosity and kindness of the donors that exist.

Ian Campbell should receive funds from the South African Government to the tune of R150,000 per year which is a great help but it doesn't always come through either on time or at all. The shortfall must be covered in order to keep the current status maintained. Donations are absolutely essential in keeping the centre open for future generations.

Up to now, the remaining shortfall has been covered from Ian's own funds as well as from Love Africa Youth, a Danish-based NPO, the NG Kerk (Ermelo East) and a collection of private donors. These funds benefit the centre directly and genuinely help to pay for food for the children, educational materials and the teachers and support staff wages. 

If you would like to become one of our donors please click on the button below:

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Goals for 2019

We would like to regular income of R15,000 a month which will cover all the current commitments, and we want to raise a further R150,000 (£8,000 GBP or $10,000 USD) in 2019 in order to implement Phase 1, the growth and development of the day care centre.

Phase 1

  1. As a responsible initiative, we would like to provide the teachers and staff with a healthy standard of living through the payment of minimum wage

  2. Build a heating system for the winter

  3. Repair and rejuvenate worn play equipment

  4. Build a stepped deck outside of the classroom

  5. Extend the outside shaded area

  6. Regeneration of a cottage garden with the aim to grow vegetables

  7. Improved training for the other staff members

  8. Create a small football pitch/grassed area

  9. Introduce a holiday program

Hopes & Dreams

  1. Extend the provision of service to include after-school programs for older (6-12-year olds) children

  2. Support the community to get basic services: electricity, water and sewerage

  3. Complete the building of a connected community centre

  4. Rebuild school buildings with rammed earth to bring classroom, kitchen, toilets, and office under one roof.