Parents and teachers were decked out in their finest for the fundraising event hosted by Wonderland Kids’ Academy on Saturday 27 July. The event took place in the Fairmount Secondary School hall.Guests were treated to a meal with much-needed motivational talks by guest speakers. The event was conducted by the comedian Arlene Petersen who had the audience in stitches.The academy has more than 110 children with 12 staff members. Children eligible to enrol at the academy are between the ages of one and five years old.The academy’s principal Aneeqah Moosa said the event was also aimed at allowing parents and teachers to catch up. She says this was the first major gathering of the year. She, however, expressed disappointment at the turnout of the parents. According to Moosa, the low turnout highlights the need for parents to be more actively involved in the learning and the extra-mural activities of their children.Moosa said the event was also held to stress the importance of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) phase in the educational careers of children. She urged parents to go the extra mile in helping the teachers at the school and facilitate the building of their educational foundation.“We need parents to say, ‘We are here, what do you need?’,” she explained.Rayaan Cedras, one of the parents, shared advice on parenting. She said it was not wise for parents to only start showing an interest in their children’s’ lives once they became teenagers. She said it had to begin when they were younger.“Building a relationship with your children is at the root of parenting. Parenting is all about forming a connection,” she explained.According to Cedras, starting to build a relationship while one’s children are younger helps a parent to get to know their child better.“You cannot ask a 13-year-old ‘who are your friends?’,” she explained.She ended by asking where the parents were 13 years ago if they only started asking such questions now.Emphasising the importance of building a solid relationship with children was Ganief Kamish, who has a rehab centre called Tawakkul Rehab. Kamish urged parents to be open and honest when they deal with their children – especially when they talk to them about drugs.“We need to tell them what taking drugs lead to and where it ends up,” he said.According to Kamish, each and everyone in the community was affected by drug addiction. They either had a family member or a friend who battled with addiction, or a drug addict who stole something from them or their relatives.He said it was the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children do not fall into the trap of taking drugs. “Monitor their behaviour. Be aware of who they chat to. Also, keep an eye on your medication because it can also be used as drugs,” she advised.Guests were also treated to entertainment in the form of multiple dance performances by a dance trio from Strandfontein. The trio is called Aphrodite Belly Dance Studio. They mesmerised the audience with their moves.