Mayor Patricia de Lille put smiles on the faces of children and their minders at Dora Tamana Enrichment Centre, in Khayelitsha, when she delivered various toys and other items to them, on Thursday February 2.
She was accompanied by Anda Ntsodo, shadow mayor for the Area East, and local councillors.
The donation forms part of the Play It Forward Campaign, a City of Cape Town social media-driven initiative launched in December last year, when Ms De Lille appealed to residents to donate toys to the City’s Early Childhood Development toy libraries. Donation boxes were placed at all City libraries and on the concourse level of the Civic Centre until January 31.
More than 100 bags full of toys were collected. The toys are now being distributed to the 17 toy libraries. They will also be distributed to the 32 city-owned ECDs across the Metro.
An ecstatic Ms De Lille sang and danced as she handed over the toys. She praised those who contributed to the libraries.
“The joy on their faces was absolutely priceless,” she said about the happy children. I want to thank each and every resident who took the time to make donations. I am proud of them for walking an extra mile.”
Ms De Lille said children from our most disadvantaged areas would now be able to play with the toys.
“These toys will therefore bring much-needed cheer into the safe spaces provided by our ECDs. They will also help our children to learn by playing and help with their overall development. A strong educational foundation is one of most important investments that we can make in building stronger societies.
“It takes a village to raise a child. This is why we invest in initiatives like the Early Childhood Development Programme, which helps take care of the wellness, nutrition and educational needs of young children,” she said.
She said the City budgeted over R14 billion to spend on initiatives like these over the next three years.
She also encouraged ECDs to start food gardens.
The City also upgraded the educare’s kitchen, food garden and installed a high quality air-conditioning system.
Mr Ntsodo said they wanted to make sure that ECDs in the poorer areas were capacitated to give Grade R pupils a foundation on par with affluent areas.
He said Dora Tamana was not the first and would not be the last to receive goodies and other necessary equipment from the City.
Dora Tamana principal Nobuntu Sohaba said she was proud to receive the toys.
“It means a lot to us and to them (children). We have educational areas that we can use.
“This is will bring life to the creche,” she said. “But there are few toys that we won’t use like guns. I saw few of those.”
Ms Sohaba said her pre-school was located in an area where unemployment was high.
She said most people in the area could not afford even some basic things.