Learning in Reach wants to tell the stories of and give voice to early childhood development centres (ECDCs) in Lavender Hill by documenting 67 stories for Mandela Day by Sunday 18 July.
The aim of telling these stories is to “highlight the importance of early childhood development and document a five-year journey of progress in quality early childhood development”, reads a statement by the organisers.
The initiative was launched by the non-profit organisation (NPO) Learning in Reach which aims to empower children through education for the improvement of their futures.
The NPO focuses on bringing sponsors, donors and resources together with ECDCs in Lavender Hill to better serve the youth of the area and change the landscape for the better.
Founder of the NPO, Leanne Reid, tells People’s Post that with ECDCs across the country critically underfunded and worse so since the onset of the pandemic “there’s a really big need”.
She explains: “We’ve done some research and the numbers (of children receiving developmental care) have dropped. Something like 38% of children are in ECD centres, so there are a lot of children who don’t have access to centres – some for financial reasons and some because parents don’t understand the importance of development at this young age.”
By telling the stories of the ECDC workers, the parents of the youth who attend ECDCs and other beneficiaries and stakeholders, Learning in Reach hopes to further highlight the plight of ECDCs during this difficult time.
“Covid-19 has exacerbated inequality in education and our economy, and this makes telling these stories important. Let’s unite through the power of storytelling to make a difference,” Reid says.
Videographers, writers, storytellers and photographers were selected on Friday 9 July after applying online. Since then, Lavender Hill has become a hive of activity with storytellers being matched with beneficiaries, partners and stakeholders based on their profiles, passions and experience, to convey these vital stories.
After Mandela Day, these stories will be revealed online, during a webinar titled “Designed to Connect”, through synopses and photos. Dr Tabile Booi will MC the webinar. The synopses and photos will also be made available to the public on Learning in Reach’s website and social media platforms.