IN support of Child Abuse Awareness Week, Gamalakhe Shobede Educare Centre in Illovo township organised a march on Friday. Toddlers learnt how to take care of themselves and then marched from the school.A chorus of “No means no” was heard as the children took a stand against abuse. “We decided to undertake the march because so many children are in an abusive situation. We want to teach them what to do in such a situation and to be proud of themselves,” said principal Constance Shobede.Shobede started the school as a non-profit organisation - Early Childhood Development initiative - two years ago and officially opened the school in January. “I saw a need in this area for a preschool providing education in English because there are none in the area and it is essential for children to know English when they enter primary school. Many parents used to take their children to Toti, Wentworth and the Bluff. The transport costs are too high and parents were battling. I started with a few pupils in January and we now have about 85 children,” Shobede said.They are aiming to build more classrooms and enrol more pupils. “We built three new classrooms and can accommodate up to 140 children,” she said.Shobede said many of the children are vulnerable, and are assisted by the community. The children are provided with breakfast and lunch, while snacks are provided by parents.“Our vision is to educate as many children as we can in English and I wish to have more English first-language teachers,” she said.The school opens for registration and new enrollments in September. For further information contact Shobede on 072 261 9758.