There were smiles all around at New Monwabisi Park, eNdlovini, Khayelitsha, last Wednesday, as children from various Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres sang and played games.
The day was organised by Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) to celebrate human rights, specifically children’s rights.
ECD leader at VPUU, Phethang Mabeba said they decided to invite most of Khayelitsha’s ECDs to create a safe space for them to feel comfortable enough to mingle with each other. She said it was also important to invest more in programmes and campaigns that promote children’s rights.
The ECD owners were up to the task and used their talent and creativity to raise awareness about children’s rights by writing these down on posters.
Ms Mabeba said it was important for children to experience such events. “It is important to create a healthy environment where they meet, play, sing and laugh together. The good thing is that they are from different areas, they do not know each other so they become friends. It gives them a good feeling to allow them to learn through play.”
She also described the vital role that the ECDs play in helping develop healthy children.
“Looking at the community from where our kids are from, we really need to create a safe space for them. We build an environment where our kids feel and know that they are loved, where they feel that they are the most special people on earth, where they can feel secure at all times,” she said.
It was all happiness at the big field when children had to come forward to present their posters. They sang with their teachers and recited some poems.
Zandisiwe Matanga, the ECD project manager at VPUU added that the programme was designed in a way to help give children an opportunity to express themselves.
“There is a lot of neglect out there so for us we felt it was important to remind children of their rights. A platform like this will help even the teachers and parents to also constantly remind their children of the wrongs and the rights. As VPUU we are also at hand to equip people with their rights. This is a good thing for all these ECDs that are here today,” she said.
Secretary of the ECDs Forum Nosipho Klas applauded the organisers and the ECDs for attending.
She urged the ECD teachers to always maintain a high standard. Before taking the children to the games, Ms Klas encouraged them to stay healthy.
Children were all given snacks before singing their way back to their centres.
According to it website, VPUU is an area-based community development programme that aims to create safe and integrated communities. This is done in partnership with local communities, the public sector and other interested parties.