EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT
In 2009 we started the Selwyn ECD Learning Programme for abused and neglected children in a container next to our facility after a young boy, Selwyn aged three, was found roaming the streets of Vrygrond without any supervision. Although Selwyn was playing in our office for some time, we did not teach him anything, besides loving him, providing food and bathed him. Selwyn would remain at our offices till 5-oclock every evening. Within weeks Selwyn brought six of his friends and therefore we started the programme for children that were in similar family backgrounds. The programme continued growing with children and grew into a centre that teaches 77 children every year. Thirty of those children are placed in more formal schooling for grade 1. Selwyn has been removed in that same year and is now 11 years old in grade six and lives with his foster family. Sewlyn’s brothers was also enrolled within our ECD centre and have all been removed, two attends a formal school, and is part of our aftercare programme while the youngest is still in our care.
Through a major fundraising campaign, in 2011 we were able to build a new, fully equipped Day & Aftercare Centre for children such as Selwyn. Accompanying the Day & Aftercare Centre is a parental group in which parents talk about the challenges they face every day and share their experiences with one another.
Unfortunately, to be accepted into a formal school system is just one of the many challenges the children and families have to deal with. Because of the home situation, drug and alcohol abuse, and surrounding gang activity, the teenage dropout rate is very high. Therefore, the aftercare programme is a critical part of the long term development of our children. Ever since the inception of our aftercare programme, we have more than 70 children participating in the aftercare programme, most of whom were former members of our Selwyn ECD Learning Programme. The programme is on-going and developing our children through an holistic approach.
Principal Samantha Morris has been with us since the age of 13 and is now not only a Grade R ECD practitioner but the principal of the ECD centre. Coming from a community that is rife with crime and substance abuse she overcame her circumstances, she finsihed school and completed college to become a qualified ECD practitioner.
We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors who have made it possible for us to provide a better future for these children.
African Equity Empowerment Investments assisted us greatly in setting up and running the ECD is always there at Christmas, Easter and other times though out the year to come and play with the children and gave them an unforgettable celebration. Sekunjalo sponsored school stationaries, necessary for going to school. We would also like to thank them with much appreciation for their contribution towards the teachers salaries.
Also Totalgaz made our children happy with a wonderful Christmas Party, and supports many of our other programmes.
Wings Of Support has been so kind to donate all kinds of furniture, like chairs and the carpet, for our Selwyn ECD.
We would also like to thank KMP for the new mattresses for the ECD and on going donation of ink cartridges.