Thank you to Tygervalley Mall for treating 24 of our children from the outreach programmes to a visit to Santa's Grotto today. The children happily discovered escalators, beautiful shops, met Santa and enjoyed snacks and treats.
But what made it all so much more special was the the conversations in the taxi on the way back to Khayelitsha (big "waaah's" and happy voices and stories of the very first ever visit to a mall) and the two young children who steadfastly refused to touch their snack packs as they wanted to share them with siblings at home. What big generous loving hearts they have!
This year marks the 68th year that World Children’s Day has been celebrated across the world. On the 20th November we celebrate and honor children, but today, as adults, caregivers, parents and custodians of children’s rights we are concerned about the state of young children, not just in South Africa but across the world. Young children are exposed to all sorts of social ills, some even perpetrated by the people that children have entrusted their lives to. Who have we become?
In South Africa, it looks like we wake up every day to new social ills that trample deeply on children’s rights. The days where children could walk and play freely, and be kind to people they do not know are long gone and over. In turn, this has destroyed the social fibre of ubuntu as caring communities. Instead, our communities are riddled with incidents of kidnapping of young children, drug trafficking, children in gangs, all sorts of abuses and many more. Now, the latest concern is pit bull dog attacks and the rising number of children who have been mauled. The government appears to be dragging their feet when it comes to legislation that deals with these issues. When is the good time to safeguard the future of this country, our children?
Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development releases this statement to invite this country at large - no matter which line of work or business are you in – to do something around development, nurturing, protection and safeguarding young children of this country. We also wish to salute and honour all of our partners in development for their roles towards ensuring that children’s rights are being observed in whatever ways possible. Early Childhood Development funding partners, government departments and grassroots organizations are indeed playing a huge role. Sadly this is not enough towards upholding children's rights and ensuring that children of this country are growing up in a safe, stimulating and nurturing environment. More needs to be done.
My closing comments in this statement is that South Africa has a great potential and many resources towards leading from the front in addressing the issues highlighted on the Sustainable Developmental Goals. What is it that is holding us back? South Africa has its National Development Policy Plan which addresses many issues that surround children’s development and safety. Is this a window dressing for other countries? We, as the country, have a great Integrated National Early Childhood Development policy, Why does it look like we do not know where to start?
Not a single political party issued a statement this past Sunday of the World Children’s Day – which means “Kusekude engqinibeni” Khanenze ngcono MaAfrika ngabantwana belilizwe. On this day, we honor you children of this World.
Executive Director: Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development
Click here to download a copy of this statement: World Children's Day Statement
Breadline Africa opened a new classroom for Nikithemba Educare and also handed backpacks with books inside courtesy of Book Dash.
The children from our outreach programs were also privileged to receive the backpacks as well as some of ECD Centres that we work with in Khayelitsha.
Thank you Breadline Africa and Book Dash for your generosity!
Thank you to The Solon Foundation for the amazing donation of more than 1000 books to our Khayelitsha children! The gift of reading is one that leads children in being life-long learners and opens doors everywhere.
What a privilege to see little faces light up and children swept away into tales of adventure.
We're excited to announce that our latest annual report has been published. Click here to download it and give thanks with us for all that happened in the last financial year.
Our Family and Community Motivator (FCM) programme reaches over 200 families across Khayelitsha. For those that don't know, Khayelitsha is made up of Sections: Site B, Site C, RR Section, Khunqu, Taiwan and others.
Today our teams went out to facilitate workshops that draw in parents from those communities. Our topic was child neglect: what child neglect is, how to recognise it, how to address it and how to prevent it. We spoke about resources that parents can use, good parenting, where to get help.
Thank you to all involved today. And thank you to those who shared their own stories, who contributed and who are our Child Protection Champions. We are so aware that not everyone had an ideal childhood, and that every parent is learning on the job. Keep up the good work and remember, you're not alone in this huge privilege we have of raising our children.
Sikhula Sonke runs a 6-month course on topics like how to teach isiXhosa words to children, how to tell stories using puppets, how to make your own books and puzzles for the classroom and how to tell a story using sequence cards. Here's some action today at our training centre.
We love partnering with Nali'bali to get books into the hands of learners... reading clubs engender a love of stories, reading and literacy.
Remember we built a lovely classroom in K2 section? Here are some photos of the new preschool in action.
A Good Samaritan through Growing Together visited the 1st 1000 Days programme at UT Gardens to bless children and caregivers with gifts which included warm winter fleece blankets for young children. Thanks to Dr Kannen for blessing these families!