Building the future, one child at a time

2015-07-23 06:00
At the Mandela Day Marathon Legacy Progamme UMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee (left) and Michael Deegan, director of Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest. 
PHOTO: NICOLE JOHN

At the Mandela Day Marathon Legacy Progamme UMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee (left) and Michael Deegan, director of Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest. PHOTO: NICOLE JOHN

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THE Mandela Marathon Legacy Programme was launched last week by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality­, in partnership with the Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest and the Divine Life Society of South Africa.

These organisations have committed to building seven crèches in each of the seven local municipalities of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality over the next few months costing nearly R3 million, R428 000 per crèche.

District mayor, Yusuf Bhamjee, said at the launch that the Mandela Marathon, its festivities and associated programmes were designed to ensure that Madiba’s legacy is kept alive.

“It is with a deep sense of honour and pride that we launch the Mandela Marathon Legacy Programme. The time has come to spread the Madiba magic to the length and breadth of our beautiful country, starting with the communities in the vicinity of the historic Mandela Marathon.”

Bhamjee said that 50% of entry fees will be ploughed back into community projects. The municipality will match this 50% with its internal funding.

“We are happy to announce that the Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest and the Divine Life Society­ of South Africa have come to the party as strategic partners.”

This is the inaugural year for the programme. Construction will begin on 1 August­ and is due to be completed by 30 November.

Michael Deegan, director of Community Chest, said the programme seeks to address the serious problem in early childhood development (ECD) the province is currently facing.

“A child’s brain must be nurtured and nourished because by the time the child is five, 85% of their brain is already developed.

“We aim to make the crèches centres of excellence and train teachers in ECD,” he said.

Crèche leaders will be trained to NQF level five, crèches will be kitted out with necessary teaching equipment and operational costs will be covered­ until the crèche is able to sustain itself in the long-term.

Each crèche will employ about six to 10 caregivers while taking care of between 60 and 80 children

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