Siyathuthuka Crèche was founded in 2012 by Sindy Zulu a retired teacher, who recognized the desperate need for children in the area to have access to pre-schooling in order to better prepare them for school. Siyathuthuka translated to English means “We are developing”. Aptly named as Siyathuthuka Crèche is the only ECD facility in the area, serving 2 communities of eSikwakwaneni and Magwenya areas in KwaMduku with a population of about 3600 of people.
Africa Foundation are fundraising for a double classroom, kitchen and dining area, enviroloo toilets, a borehole fencing and play area. Having these facilities will not only create a safe and nurturing environment for the children but will critically ensure that the crèche meets the standards to qualify for Government support.
The crèche currently does not qualify to receive any funding for running costs and salaries assistance from the Department of Social Development. Only 10 parents can afford to pay fees consistently, the children who do not pay fees do not get turned away, Sindy finances the running costs of the crèche out of her own pocket. The building structure has rusted corrugated roofing sheets which leak when it rains. The floors inside the classrooms do not have tiles and they are not conducive for small children crawling or learning to walk unsteadily.
There are no water and sanitation facilities at the crèche. Municipal Water Trucks which pass by periodically to fill the Jojo tanks in the community or at the primary school next-door, crèche staff then fetch water from either of these locations, taking time away from supervising the children. Lack of water makes it challenging to keep the facility and children especially infants clean. There is no toilet facilities on the property, teachers use a shovel to dig a whole behind the building for children to relieve themselves. Furthermore, the crèche does not have facilities to prepare or provide meals. Receiving a hot nutritious meal is often a key incentive for parents to send their children to school – as it removes a burden from poor households, however, parents of children attending Siyathuthuka crèche are expected to send their children with packed lunchboxes.
The property is not fenced, and there is no playground equipment, making playtime outside very taxing for the teachers who have to make sure children are safe. People and wondering livestock loiter around the facility because it is not fenced, windows have been vandalised as a result.
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