Educare centre gets a facelift

Tears swelled in the eyes of proud principal Nolitha Ndalase as her newly constructed Ithemba Learning Centre was revamped, thanks to students from the school of Architecture of Montpellier, in France who spearheaded the construction of the centre.

The 50 -year-old mother of three started the project in 1999 as a social care programme for abused women, a soup kitchen, food garden and after-school care programme.

For years she had been running these programmes with the hope of making a difference in the community of Harare. In 2018 she decided to establish an educare centre to give children a platform to learn and grow holistically.

The students raised funds and contacted a number of companies who heeded their impassioned pleas and stepped in to assist.

This the centre which has been revamped.

Ms Ndalase said she was over the moon with joy and excitement that her creche had been revamped, adding that the structure would provide a quality learning and teaching environment for the children.

Igsaan Hugo from Cobra and Thobela Gubudela from GI construction company were both excited to be helping to build the centre.

”I honestly do not have words to express precisely how I feel about this. It feels like a dream come true and I have nothing but appreciation for what they have done for the children. This is not for me but for the community of Harare because this is set to benefit them.

“I’m glad that they opted to choose me over a thousand other people who are in great need of financial support,” she said.

Talking about the challenges of running an educare centre, she told Vukani that when she started the centre, it was housed in her shack, which meant she was not eligible to register her centre with the Department of Social Development. In addition to this, she didn’t have trained and qualified teachers.

However, in 2019 things took a turn for the better when a donor from America built her a formal structure, resulting in her being able to register her facility. She also ensured her teachers received the necessary training.

Architecture student Celine Michel, said through their involvement they wanted to give back to and uplift the community.

“We felt the need to assist because educare centres play a critical role in the children’s development. This centre would shape the children’s future for the better. We would happy to see the children become better leaders because of this development,” she said.

Director of GI construction, Thobela Gubudela, said as a company that hails from Khayelitsha it was important that they gave back to the community.

Pictured are some of these involved in the revamp of the centre.