Who could have imagined that the world as we know it could change so drastically in such a short period of time. The Inkanyiso Crèche had high hopes for 2020, especially after the welcome improvements made last year and with a lot of new, fresh faces eager to rush to the crèche every morning, no doubt looking forward to their daily bowl of flavoured porridge breakfast and lessons from Lungy, the teacher!
Unfortunately the Inkanyiso Crèche, like all other Early Childhood Development centres in South Africa, and the majority of businesses, was forced to close at the end of March 2020 as a result of Covid-19, with the South African government having adopted a risk-adjusted approach. This consists of five alert levels, with Level 5 being the most restrictive and essentially a complete lockdown, while Level 1 allows for most normal activity to resume, although ensuring all guidelines and precautions are adhered to.
On 7 July 2020, the government announced that Early Childhood Development centres could reopen with immediate effect, provided that strict safety measures are followed. These include the compulsory wearing of masks/visors, regular sanitisation and social distancing. Regrettably, the government has since announced that all schools must close once more for four weeks, due to the number of Covid-19 cases spiking. In addition, the parents are, quite understandably, concerned about opening the crèche too soon due to the risk of infections. As a result, the crèche is still closed until further notice.
Nonetheless, we have started to get the necessary safety protocols and PPE for the crèche ready, and Lungy has been actively involved in cleaning the crèche and ensuring that the grounds are looking neat and tidy. During the lockdown, no projects could be worked on, although just before the lockdown we did manage to fix the guttering as well as install additional Jojo tanks, which can be used to provide water to the toilets. The toilets were also completed in the week before lockdown.
The following is a brief summary of the projects in the pipeline:
- Complete the tiling of the crèche, including the porch and toilets;
- Install a small library for the children, complete with teaching materials;
- Install some additional shelving and storage facilities;
- Touch up of painting, including painting the toilets in bright murals;
- Build a small vegetable garden and actively involve the local community;
- Build an extension to the building to provide a shaded area, where Lungy and the members of the community may sit and watch the children playing on the jungle-gym; and
- Training of Lungy, including visits to other Early Childhood Development centres, as well as the employment of an additional helper to assist with the cleaning of the crèche and feeding of the children.
With the support of many Thanda Safari guests, the Thanda Foundation Trust, and the friends of the crèche from all around the world, we have managed to make significant improvements to the crèche and it is amazing to see the transformation that we have been able to achieve. The sheer joy and excitement of the children of being able to jump on the trampoline, or being able to kick a soccer ball, is a delight to see and makes it all so worthwhile.
With the undoubted success of Inkanyiso Crèche, another key priority is, therefore, to identify additional community-based projects in the other two communities bordering Thanda Safari, so that we can make real differences there as well, although the focus for now at least will be to complete the above projects.
Thank you to each and everyone that has made donations, no matter the size. If anyone would like to volunteer at the crèche, please let us know as well, as having Olivia assisting as a volunteer last year was such a blessing and really assisted Lungy as well.
Thanks so much for all your help! Siyabonga!
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Thanda Foundation Trust
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