Principals and teachers at crèches in the Overcome and Capricorn area near Muizenberg came together to celebrate their achievements for the year.The annual celebration happened on Wednesday 21 November, at Bay City Church.Organised by True North, a non-profit organisation (NPO) that helps Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDs) to comply with registration rules and provide holistic training to teaching children, the festivity is aimed at helping those involved with ECDs to look at the goals they set at the beginning of the year, and to see if they achieved them.ECD teachers and principals are trained in the curriculum, health, safety, engaging parents, and infrastructure development among other things. True North has been working in the area since 2011 and their aim is to ensure that children are in a safe place where they are loved and cared for.Managing director for True North, Vicky Kumm, says their main goal is to take teachers and principals by the hand and show them what to do.“They are already doing an incredible job given the circumstances that they work under. They have to work in classes that are packed to capacity and they have little space. They don’t have the right resources and for some, because they are not registered, it is difficult to access other things. This is where we come in and help them with those things. We set goals, make them attend training and make it clear as to what is it that they want to achieve. We build relationships with people that we think might add value to them like the Department of Social Development and other organisations like FoodForward among others,” she says.Kumm says every year they go back to the drawing board with the teachers and principals to see that the goals they set for the year have been achieved. “We also do quarterly meetings to see how they are coming with the tasks they set for themselves. If they face any challenges we help them,” she says.Principal of Rainbow Educare and chairperson of the Vrygrond ECD Forum, Faranaaz Johnson, says that without a doubt, True North has been of great help. “We can’t thank them enough. At times you feel that the task ahead of you is so enormous but with the motivation that we get from True North everything is doable. They really hold your hand and help us and we are grateful for that,” she says.Johnson was awarded for excelling and supporting her staff. “Wow, I was blown away. This is not really about who did best, it’s just about all coming together and celebrating the work we have done in the year. We are really proud of each and every ECD – they put in the work despite their circumstances.”Kumm says their annual celebration is heart-warming. “Oh, my goodness, to see them come together and just celebrate what they have done in the year is amazing. The main goal is to help them in whichever way we can so that they create a good environment for the children. We want our children to go to the ECDs that work with us and feel loved, nurtured and cared for.’’ V For more information on True North, call 021 702 6102 or visit www.true-north.co.za.