Mama Lillian Mantewu-Kopi might not be the richest woman in her area of Zwezwe in Khayelitsha, but she prides herself on one thing-her passion for children.
Her neighbours are fond of her for the job she is doing for her community.
In 2006, she established Nonceba Educare with only six children. She said it was her dream to keep children from child-headed homes and those with single parents safe.
Although she battled with funds to build a proper facility, but she managed to keep the children in her own house.
Little did she know that the numbers were going to soar over time and she is now caring for 55 children.
Worried about finding the space for all the children, she expanded her house and built a makeshift class room.
Theclassroom was not adequate, but she had to help the community.
She said the children’s parents needed to go out and work.
Ms Mantewu-Kopi, who is never short of words, praised her community, saying they tried their best to help her in one way or another. under difficult circumstances.
She said her plight reached the ears of many such as the Khayelitsha-based NGO called Sikhula Sonke, which trains pre-school teachers and provides mentoring and coaching.
They also facilitate pre-school upgrades, and have been working very closely with Ms Mantewu-Kopi, doing weekly mentoring visits. After years of struggle, Nonceba Educare finally got an additional, proper classroom structure on Wednesday April 26, thanks to NPO Breadline Africa.
A very happy Ms Mantewu-Kopi said: “ This is a day to celebrate.
“This is for the children not for me. I always had a dream to keep children safe.
“This gift means I am growing as a person. This has taught me that patience pays. I have been very patient to have a proper structure. This is the day I have been waiting for,” she said with a smile.
Ms Mantewu-Kopi believes the environment will now be suitable for her little ones. She said with winter coming, they will be in a warm place. But she also has other dreams for her pre-school.
She has set up a small garden using recycled material to grow vegetables and every day is a challenge, as water supply is at an all-time low due to the drought currently being experienced in the province.
As she celebrated the new classroom, she was congratulated by among many people, the donors themselves.
Breadline Africa said for every classroom that is placed, an opportunity is created to give hope to children from disadvantaged communities to change the course of their own future.
Breadline Africa congratulated Ms Mantewu-Kopi for protecting and developing children for generations to come.