Over the December/January holiday period, the Inkwenkwezi Childhood Development Centre in Nyanga suffered a break-in which saw them lose everything needed to keep their doors open.
ECDs are community-based and run facilities that provide care for children under the age of 6 years. The first years of a child’s life form the foundation upon which they build their future, and so it is vital that they have access to ECD’s from an early age. The centre serves not only as a school for young children but also as a safe space for many of our Mbokodo Project survivors in the area and a beacon of hope for the community of Nyanga as a whole.
ECDs in vulnerable & underserved township communities are in desperate need of funds to ensure that their doors remain open. The hardships and vulnerabilities young children face are exacerbated by high crime rates, poverty and systemic injustice. This means that resources need to be channeled to give young children in Nyanga the education they need and deserve. In our greatest hour of need, Ajaz.org answered our call. They truly embody their mission to fund organisations that support children and families who face difficult days.
As community empowerment is a core component of what we do as a human rights organisation, Justice Desk Africa understands the need to show up and extend our support wherever we can to the communities that we work in and love. We believe in the power of everyday people uniting together to create change and make an impact.
Thanks to the generous contribution from Ajaz.org, Inkwenkewzi Educare was able to get back on track and continue to offer a safe and hopeful environment for over 100 children in Nyanga. Since then, many vital upgrades were made to the centre, namely:
All electrical work, including cubing and cabling.
Exterior cables were installed from the main source (pole) where the initial damage originated.
A new DB box and meter box were purchased and installed, and all of the plugs and switches were replaced.
An additional outside light at the entrance was replaced with a sensor light in order to give more visibility and safety at night.
In the words of Theodora Luthuli, Inkwenkwezi's Principal, "ECDs can no longer be left behind, they are the foundational building blocks of our country! Thank you Ajaz.org for helping us to rebuild a strong foundation for our children!”
By supporting Inkwenkwezi to keep its doors open, Ajaz.org has helped continue their amazing work within the township of Nyanga. A diverse range of children form part of the ECD Centres’ family and the work done with children on the disability spectrum has helped to ensure that the environment is transformational. This, in turn, influences the wider community and builds a culture of awareness and inclusivity. Nutritional meals are provided for every day and are often the only meals some of the children have access to. From 6:30am until 5pm, Khanyisa and Inkwenkwezi keep our children safe, fed and educated.
Inkwenkwezi also uses an in-house learning program, which involves holistic learning through play and applies the principle learnings of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). Not only this, Inkwenkwezi and Khanyisa also provide safe hubs for young primary and high school girls and boys in the community who require additional support. The contribution from Ajaz.org helped keep the doors open, lights on and increased the safety, so that the staff on the ground could do what they do best, educate our children.
“We are so grateful for all the love and support,” says Principal Luthuli. “It came at the right time, just when the funds were needed the most. Once again we are ready to be what we know we can be, making sure our children are being educated in the safe environment they deserve. Thank you so much to Ajaz for making this possible!”