February 2022.

Yoliswa Mengu (48), from the Loerieheuwel rural community, has journeyed from a cook at a local crèche to an ECD school principal, with the support of a bursary and lots of determination. She is part of a cohort of 40 ECD practitioners who have directly benefited from Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s bursary programme, that supports improved ECD practitioner qualification across Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, Westin, Thornhill, Sea Vista, Patensie, and Hankey.

Being a qualified ECD practitioner has influenced Yoliswa’s life significantly, she feels empowered by the knowledge and skills she acquired during her studies to better care for the needs of each child, in her care. Additionally, the training has taught her how to communicate at the children’s level and better understand their emotions.

Yoliswa further believes her skill set has enabled a safer and more stimulating environment for the children, as her training has enriched her teaching techniques, as well as improved her ability to assist and manage her staff.

“The Early Childhood Development foundation phase is important because young children learn to communicate, share and voice their emotions. They develop holistically and learn the foundations for literacy skills. This phase is also important because it has an impact on their readiness to learn when they move onto Primary School,” commented Yoliswa Mengu from Loerieheuwel Crèche, when speaking about why ECD is important.

Yoliswa found her calling back in 2002 when a former principal supported and encouraged her to start a career in ECD. While volunteering and working various jobs related to childcare, she enrolled in courses and training programmes to further her education in this field.

Her dream of becoming a teacher came true when Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm and their ECD Programme implementation partner, ITEC, supported and funded her through her studies until she was able to graduate with a National Diploma Certificate in Early Childhood Development.

As the current Principal at Loerieheuwel Crèche, Yoliswa also teaches ages 4 to 5. She is one of four teachers currently employed at the crèche, and with the help of assistants, they are able to educate and take care of 75 children from the local community.

Throughout her career there were many highlights, however, for Yoliswa the most rewarding experience remains seeing the children grow as they learn, and the impact of her work firsthand.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm ECD Programme, through ITEC, is committed to providing ECD practitioners with the necessary funding and support they need to further their education. In addition to this they look to support ECD centres with any repairs and renovations that are needed as well as resources they require. Loerieheuwel Crèche has been a recipient of resources and support in the past and continues to be regularly supported by the programme.