Woman hailed for her passion

2017-02-22 06:00
Mpho Motong from Gamopedi in Kuruman receives her certificate as the best early childhood development (ECD) practitioner in the Northern Cape from the executive mayor of the Francis Baard District Municipality, Buyiswa Ximba.Photos: Boipelo Mere

Mpho Motong from Gamopedi in Kuruman receives her certificate as the best early childhood development (ECD) practitioner in the Northern Cape from the executive mayor of the Francis Baard District Municipality, Buyiswa Ximba.Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Mpho Motong from Gamopedi in Kuruman said she was not aware of the difference that she was making in her community until she was announced as the best early childhood development (ECD) practitioner in the Northern Cape.

Right after the announcement, Motong was so shocked and overjoyed that she had to be led to the stage.

The announcement was made on Friday, 10 February, at the Flamingo Casino during the awards ceremony hosted by the National Development Agency (NDA), an agency of the Department of Social Development in Kimberley.

The awards are part of the NDA’s capacity building programme and are highly sought after amongst ECD practitio-ners.

The awards form part of the NDA’s commitment towards the development of the ECD sector in South Africa.

Motong said being the winner of the award has boosted her image and it seemed as if the whole community congratulated her.

She said she was running the Bahentse Pre-school in Gamopedi through trying times and she described it as a miracle that her school received recognition on such a level.

Motong directed her deepest gratitude towards the community and parents for trusting her to look after their children at such a young age.

The Bahentse Pre-school currently accommodates 77 children, from babies to five year olds.

When she started the school, there were less than 50 children in her care.

Motong said, apart from the growing intake of children at the centre, she herself has grown from the experience of running it.

She said although her school did not have equipment such as the latest computers, she still took pride in the centre and had big dreams for it.

The pre-school, operating inside the premises of the Roman Catholic Church, has been in existence since 1986.

“I started working at the centre as a volunteer when my sister’s child attended it.

“At that stage I only had matric and was working with two other ECD practitioners who were in the employment of the Department of Social Development,” she said.

“That motivated me to make contact with Adult Basic Education and Training (Abet).”

These practitioners left in 2012 for other jobs and left Motong with a few ideas of how to do certain things.

Motong then joined a group of other ECD practitioners who teamed up to develop themselves. They met on a regular basis to work on their deve-lopment and supported each other.

“That empowered me to such an extent that I ma-naged to get my ECD Level 4 certificate in 2013. I also received certificates for completing skills development training.”

She said being part of the ECD group helped her tremendously. Together they organised events and raised funds and also shared ideas to improve their centres.

“For the past two years I have been entering these awards with my group and never expected to win. I was also motivated by one group member who was a 2016 finalist and went to the national level.”

Motong said a part of the money that she won would be used to improve the centre.

“Ours is a poor community and there is so much that this money can be used for.”

She said the Bahentse Pre-school is currently the biggest pre-school in her community and consists of three practitioners, a gardener, a cook and a cleaner. They also have a management committee of seven members.

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