Thornhill, Eastern Cape
A ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place at the Thornhill community, in the Eastern Cape, marked the re-opening of Mkhuseli Koliti Crèche. The event was attended by community members, funders, partners, officials, parents, school staff, and nearly 100 very excited young children, to mark this special occasion.
The new facility can now support additional children entering Grade RR and ensure that they receive meaningful learning opportunities, in preparation for attending Grade R in a formal school in the following year.
“The new facility has been able to increase its capacity by 50%, which means that many more children from the community of Thornhill will have access to this upgraded facility and quality teaching, provided by qualified and eager practitioners, ready to support young learners,” said Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who funded this project as part of its Socio-Economic Development Programme.
Close to R1million was funded to provide a new Prefab unit, electrical installation, plumbing, an office, storeroom, kitchen upgrade, ablution facilities as well as high security perimeter fencing. Other refurbishments, some of which the parents joined in to assist with, included the replacement of windowpanes, internal and external paint works, and other general repairs.
The wind farm has supported this crèche in various programmes over the last few years, including ECD training for three practitioners, for the FETC NQF Level 4 and ECD Level 5 National Diploma. Principal Potgieter, completed NQF Level 5, in this programme, in addition to two practitioners at this early learner facility, namely Claudine Hendricks and Lungiswa Futha.
“ECD remains a critical point for our country’s social and economic transformation and development, and we want to see children develop holistically, with the support of qualified practitioners and suitable facilities within our beneficiary communities,” added Radebe.
This ECD Centre is one of three facilities that have been identified by the wind farm to receive specific infrastructure support during this year. The project includes upgrades ranging from the provision of a classroom and major repairs to the provision of ablution facilities, painting, partitioning, security fencing, play equipment amongst other items.
The wind farm, together with Principal Emerentia Potgieter, of Mkhusili Koliti Crèche, has once again issued a note of thanks to the parents in the Thornhill community who helped in the refurbishment programme, saying, “We are delighted to be supporting a community crèche that has the involvement of its parents and the general community, as shown by all those who got involved in carrying out some of the repairs.”
The ECD centre’s additional capacity, of 100 children, will be allowed, in the event that COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed, alternatively, the centre will be able to accommodate up to 70 additional learners, with the appropriate social distancing regulations.