Partnership brings hope to destitute children

The Kingdom Kids Academy principal Gloria Gum-Kuzanga addresses the dignitaries.

The government and public private partnerships can help solve some of the challenges being faced by communities. This is according to chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Thandi Modise, after the government and non-profit organisation, Khusela Ikhaya Project, donated clothing to a pre-school in Site B, Khayelitsha.

Children at Kingdom Kids Academy were treated to a feast of food and showered with gifts by Ms Modise and the chief executive officer of Khusela Ikhaya, Justin Zietsman.

On Friday July 22, about 50 children from the Kingdom Kids Academy, a creche that also doubles as a place of safety, beamed with excitement as they became beneficiaries of much-needed supplies, including tables, chairs, educational books, shoes, food and 40 litres of fire-retardant paint, among other items.

The event forms part of Mandela Month and was led by the office of the NCOP chairperson in partnership with Khusela Ikhaya Project, a Cape Town-based non-profit organisation that focuses on fire prevention in informal settlements, educational and skills development, community upliftment and sports development.

Speaking at the event, Ms Modise applauded the new partnership between government and the NPO, which has agreed to contribute food for the children for a year and rebuild the pre-school.

“I am excited to have been here. This is the future of the country. I am of the belief that we have to start with the young ones in whatever we do. For us it is a constitutional mandate to help them,” she said.

Ms Modise emphasised the importance of elementary education. She said children from the townships need to be given a better education like their counterparts in the suburbs.

She commended the crèche after seeing a performance by the children.

“Foundation phase is where children need help to find themselves. I am delighted that in this crèche they are taught about their country. I am happy that you entrench patriotism. In us and Khulula Ikhaya, you have a partner. We will walk with you all the way,” she said. Mr Zietsman said his organisation aims to prevent the rapid spreading of shack fires through the application of a specifically formulated intumescent (fire retardant) paint. He said his team of dedicated volunteers has painted a lot of shacks in and around Khayelitsha. His said his team aims to make a visible and lasting difference to communities.

“It is not about the cameras and television but about what is happening after they have left. We have started with our job of painting shacks that burnt but it was when we’re in Masiphumelele doing a project when a woman approached us and asked us to give her the paint money instead of painting her shack. It made me think. Hence we’ve decided to also feed children,” he said.

Mr Zietsman promised to feed more than 10 000 children by December.

He said it was important that children have something to eat on a daily basis. “You cannot teach an empty stomach. We promise to feed more than 10 000 children by December.

We will also provide food for children here for the next year and redoing the roof of this crèche,” he promised.The pre-school’s principal, Gloria Gum-Kuzanga, said the school was grateful. She said the school is trying to develop young people in the area. “Our objectives is to teach morals and values here. We have noticed that crime is caused because children did not get proper education at the young age but we can proudly say we have been successful in our job. We have been following our children in the schools that they are at and the reports we are getting are great,” she said. She said their pre-school is not funded but operate on fees. Resident Zenzile Nkinkqa commended the school for developing young people. He said he had seen the results and was very impressed.