Major boost for ECDs

President of the Wynberg Rotary Club, Ian Robertson, left; and Les Daves, from Lewis, right; are joined by Nolufefe Educare principal, Zukiswa Jafta and community leader, Mlungisi Dyalvana in cutting the ribbon.

After many years of uncertainty, Nolufefe Educare Centre, in Philippi, has finally been given a helping hand.

The centre, which has been operating for more 30 years, had been battling to keep its doors open due to the lack of support and funds to upgrade their infrastructure.

The Department of Social Development had been threatening to close and deregister the centre because of its unsafe building.

However, the centre’s worries came to an end on Thursday May 4, thanks to Wynberg Rotary Club and a furniture retailer who joined hands to raise funds to revamp the facility.

They also provided training for the teachers to enhance their teaching skills.

After months of hard work, the newly built structure was handed to the centre management on Thursday.

The good Samaritans also fenced the facility.

Scenes of happiness filled the space and women ululated as a plaque was unveiled. Parents expressed their happiness, thrilled that the centre had been given a new lease on life.

Zukiswa Jafta, centre’s principal, said the old structure had been riddled with holes and had a poor foundation.

She said they lived and worked in fear that the building would collapse.

Ms Jafta, who has been the principal since 1992, said the centre had never been revamped due to financial difficulties.

“We feared that the creche would collapse on us at any given day. The material that was used to build it had passed its lifespan,” she said.

“We knew that we would fail when the safety inspectors came to evaluate the safety standards.”

Ms Jafta described the centre as one of the most treasured community facilities and said its closure would have been a loss to residents. She felt privileged that the centre had received the facelift.

She said they would now be able to focus more on teaching and forget about poor infrastructure.

President of the Wynberg Rotary Club, Ian Robertson, said they have a five-year programme to revamp educare centres in impoverished communities.

He said the centres played a vital role in preparing children for primary school. He added that most of them were often neglected.

Mr Robertson said the first 2 000 days of a child’s life were the most important, adding that they needed a proper foundation.

Community leader Mlungisi Dyalvana said as the community they were grateful and would be forever indebted to their donors.

He said their role was to protect and keep the building safe. He called on the community to support the centre.