So far we have built six kindergartens and renovated seven. Employees in these kindergartens have participated in a one-year training program through ICDP – the International Child Development Program. Approximately 500 children attend kindergartens (crèches) which been built, renovated, operated, equipped, and trained by IMPANDE.
1.Kindergartens in Gamalakhe Development Center, GDC
Our kindergarten dream, which was initially our main engagement in Gamalakhe, became a reality when GDC opened on April 11 – 12, 2009. GDC was build with 300 m3 of floor space at a price tag of NOK 1 900 000 (£ 195 500 at the time). Sandvika Rotary Club supplied USD 55 550 (£ 33 000) worth of equipment with the help of a matching grant.
Forty to fifty children between 2 – 6 years old participate in the day program there. GDC has partnered with municipal governments who offer half of the seats to children from especially needy families. These are children who, for example: have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS; themselves are HIV-positive; have already developed AIDS or have other developmental problems. In order to maintain a balanced group of children, the rest of the seats are made available to normal functioning families. Since 2010 the focus has been on improving the quality of care provided in the center’s kindergarten. Staff have participated in the ICDP competency program, and, together with the GDC coordinator, they have developed standard requirements for daycare employees. Kindergarten leaders have prepared daily and weekly plans for their work, and the older children now assist in a private preschool group for an hour each day.
Parents pay a heavily subsidized rate of NOK 50 (£ 4) per month to have their children in this kindergarten. Even with this low rate, many children are offered a free seat in the center. Gamalakhe Foundation has established a sponsorship program that provides funds to cover the net costs of the daycare. A sponsorship costs NOK 250 per month. Sponsors receive a newsletter every quarter with news about life in their kindergarten. If you would like to be a sponsor, please click here.
2. Upgrading other kindergartens in the Gamalakhe region
GF wants to give others kindergartens in the area the equipment they need to help children develop. Kindergartens whose employees have completed ICDP courses are prioritized, have implemented competence-enhancing measures, or otherwise show initiative and drive.
In March 2010 the chairman, along with sponsors from Norway, visited a retired teacher couple who lived in the area near the town of Port Edwards. They took care of 18 children who had lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. Together they ran a farm which supplied them and many locals in need, and they taught youth in sewing technique. Their workday lasted from 0430h to 2000h! We decided on the spot to upgrade their kindergarten. The visiting sponsors spontaneously gave NOK 10 000 (£ 1 300) which was used to purchase toys, learning materials, tables, chairs, mattresses, and a sewing machine.
3.Organised sports linked to the local in Gamalakhe
In November 2010 GDC organized a weeklong sports boot-camp in Gamalakhe with two experts from Kenya. They have organised a major sports program through the churches in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Lessons from this start-up seminar will form the basis for the athlete worked as planned, starting in 2011.
Sports are very popular in South Africa – especially football. However, sports among black populations are often characterised by:
- Poor organisation
- A lack of qualified trainers and coaches
- Equipment is often missing or worn out
A group of active athletic teenagers in Gamalakhe’s local church have set a goal to improve their situation. They will start by developing football coaches, trainers, and tournaments for youth between 12 – 16 years old.
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