Grace Child Care Centre
We have identified a huge need for a safe place, or orphanage, in the disadvantaged community of Thembalihle Eastwood Area, Pietermaritzburg. The Masakhane ECD Development Centre has been operating as a preschool in this community and we have noticed the impact of high unemployment and poverty rate over the years. This has led to a high crime and HIV/Aids fluctuation, resulting in the unfortunate deaths of many parents and guardians and leaving many children as orphans. We have also witnessed a huge number of cases whereby children were left unattended and neglected by their parents due to the irresponsible consumption of alcohol. This has resulted in many children being sexual abused during these vulnerable periods. Additionally, we have children looking after children in child-headed households.
Sadly, we find it difficult to support and help all of these children appropriately, due to the limited space and resources as an ECD Centre. Knowing these facts leaves us with no other option but to put plans in to place. We need to establish a safe place that will accommodate desperate, neglected and vulnerable children in and around the community of Thembalihle. We intend to arrange and provide nutritious meals, shelter, therapy, love and culture and sport programs so that the children can start their healing process in a family-friendly environment, until they reach a mature responsible and independent stage in their lives.
We intend to enroll children from birth to the age of 12. The selection criteria would be based on those in most need of aid. We appreciate every help offered in order to reach our goal of helping those who are unable to help themselves.
We intend to develop a solid operation that will positively impact the community. The institution aims to reinforce its operations by hiring the most committedand hardworking staff who will provide effective care, management and love for these vulnerable children. The children should also be provided with safe accommodation and basic needs such as food, clothing and education.
We look forward to establishing a structure that will perfectly accommodate the children. It should have the capacity to produce disciplined, virtuous, caring, responsible and educated future leaders.
The structure should have the following:
After visiting multiple preschools, I realised that telling them one story per week was insufficient. These children are completely under-stimulated. If we want to change their lives we have to empower those who spend most of the time with the children: the teacher. It took some time to gain their trust and convince them that the kids in their care need to be stimulated and taught. We are fortunate enough to have Ingrith Roberts, an ECD teacher, who worked for years in the Department of Education. She is doing an amazing job of educating and empowering the care givers through workshops, visits and consultations. Additionally, Ingrith developed a teaching program for the teacher; custom-made for their environment and abilities. Now, when we walk through the doors of the child care facilities, we hear children singing and playing. We see charts on the walls and many happy faces. Improvement and development are what we are striving for. You can find the teaching programme and the bible stories here…
“Nothing good comes from boredom. It’s said that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” We all know that from nothing comes nothing. It is so important to do something. To find out, as a person, what are my strengths and weaknesses? What am I good at and how can I improve? Exposure is key. We are always on the look out for skilled individuals who are willing to sacrifice some time to teach their children these skills. At the moment, we have Megan who is teaching rhythmic gymnastic and Rob who is busy organizing judo mats for the kids. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in empowering those precious children and making a different in their lives.
Books! Books! Books! “Reading makes you travel without moving”. We have donated a whole library to Kwapata High School in Edendale. We are also running a homework assistance/library in the afternoons from a preschool in Thamboville. If you are willing to donate books for any ages please do so. We will distribute accordingly.
Values: In a society with the highest crime rate in the world and corruption being the number one challenge, we need to speak and teach values. Every week we teach the children a bible story and a bible verse, all incorporated with the weekly theme. We are a Christian-based organization who likes to share their Christian faith and values. At the same time, we do work with different denominations and do not exclude other believers from our programmes. Anybody who is keen to learn and has a heart for children is welcome to join our programmes, regardless of their own religious beliefs.
Outreach / Missions
Over the years, we have had many young people coming to South Africa and spending their time, short or long term, sharing their talents in the different townships surrounding Pietermaritzburg with Nkosinathi CAP. This made our township kids feel really special and appreciated. There is something special about giving and expecting nothing in return. All of our projects started off with some kind of outreach program: sharing our christian faith, singing dancing, visiting, spending time with the kids, distributing donations or helping to better their environment. For us, sharing the gospel and helping people goes hand and in hand.
It is vital to understand that reaching out into a different culture will also change your life. As much as you sacrifice your time and effort, spending time with those precious children and care givers uniquely enriches you. It might change your values, your priorities and even your thinking. So before you decided to join an outreach program, think about your expectations and what you can bring to the table. Always research the cultural background and the history of the place that you intend to visit first. For further information please contact Ina Smith (Cell: +27(0)84 699 8534 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Find out more about how to get involved or to make a donation