CD mamas receive recognition

2016-09-29 06:00
Members of Early Childhood Centres (ECDs) were treated at a special day at Ilitha Park, Khayelitsha, on Friday.  PHOTOS: Mbongiseni maseko

Members of Early Childhood Centres (ECDs) were treated at a special day at Ilitha Park, Khayelitsha, on Friday. PHOTOS: Mbongiseni maseko

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Early Childhood Centre managers received recognition in a special event held in Ilitha Park on Friday.

The event was held at Pentecostal Protestant Church, and saw owners of ECDs awarded long service certificates and for their positive contribution children’s development.

The event was organised as part of the Heritage Day celebrations, and was sponsored by the City of Cape Town.

Boniswa Mxhakaza, the chairperson of the Khayelitsha ECD Forum, said the event was important as it gave them an opportunity to motivate each other and make each other stronger in the face of challenges.

She also said it sergved as a space to shared experiences and receive advice from veterans in the sector.

“Some ECDs in informal settlements are facing uphill battle to get registered as approval from Department of Fire and Emergency Services is hard to come by, because the venues are not deemed safe for children. Other challenges include the issue of rezoning and that some teachers do not have the necessary qualifications to run the centres,” Mxhakaza said.

Sharon Melani,51, of Founder Educare Centre in Makhaza, was one of the recipients of the awards.

She started her centre in 1999 with 50 children, but now has a regular intake of about 150 kids at her centre.

She said things were much difficult for them back then, as compared to their operations now.

“It was so difficult for us, because we never had sponsors, compared to nowadays. It was really hard for us to get registered, but now there is Social Development which is even helping us with food.

I am happy for the award.

I have nurses, lawyers and other professionals who coming out of my hands.

This will encourage us to continue with the centres.

We appeal to the government to intervene and not close down our centres because they are in informal settlements.

The DFES should stop closing our centres, because we started them with passion,” Melani said. There are about 500 ECDs in Khayelitsha alone.

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