A Starting Chance in life as playground facility opens for all

2016-08-25 06:00
Scarra Ntubeni, the Stomers hooker, Ann Dyasi, Ian Corbett, chairman for Starting Chance, Philiswa Gedesi, the principal of Blooming Stars Educare and children during the opening of playground, in Mfuleni, on Wednesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

Scarra Ntubeni, the Stomers hooker, Ann Dyasi, Ian Corbett, chairman for Starting Chance, Philiswa Gedesi, the principal of Blooming Stars Educare and children during the opening of playground, in Mfuleni, on Wednesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

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It was a dream come true when an educare centre in Mfuleni- which has been facing many challenges- opened its playgrounds on Wednesday.

Blooming Stars Educare opened their purpose built playground, which came as a donation from Starting Chance, which is a non-profit Public Benefit Organisation (NPO).

The playground has a jungle gym, a fun climbing challenge structure, sand and water play areas and an astroturf section for basic ball skills training.

Their relationship goes back to 2012. They first helped the educare-which operated from wendy house- by building them dignified structures.

Ali Corbett said she was touched to see the condition it operated in and promised to come back and help them.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Stormers hooker star Scarra Ntubeni.

Ian Corbett, chairman of Starting Chance, said the facility was built last year.

“It was a challenge to make an outdoor area which was going to be in a good quality. It is a safe structure for children. It is a great joy for us to see it,” Corbett said.

Starting Chance had previously built two other educare centres in the area.

The first one-which accommodates 200 children- was the Mfuleni Centre for Early Childhood Development, which was built under their previous trust, Sasdi, in 2011.

The second one was Little Stars, which accommodates 52 children and was built in 2014.

Philiswa Gedesi, the principal of Blooming Stars Educare which has about 200 children, said she was over the moon to see the centre and its structural quality.

“I am very happy. It is hard to believe that the educare is now in this standard. It is a dream come true for me.

Parents recognised the unique services that I render here. Most of them work in farms, so I open for them from as early as 5am, because they leave very early for work.

Sometimes I close at 7pm when they are all back from work. Starting Chance helped me a lot,” Gedesi said.

Gedesi said their wooden structure burnt down in 2009, but the community helped her with building materials.

Ntubeni applauded the educare for their “good work” and he promised to come back to visit and also to help them with things they need.

Starting Chance is driven by the passion about education and Early Childhood Development.

They said they firmly believe that transformation in South Africa begins by giving young children aged 0 – 6 living in poverty a starting chance in life.

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