Steady progress is being made at Masi Educare pre-school. We last reported on the preparatory work for the delivery of new classrooms back in May. It is pleasing to see how much has been achieved in the months since then as shown by the photographs below.
As can be seen in the pictures above the walkways between the new classrooms and the main building are about two-thirds complete. Nearly all roof trusses are in place, with roof panels to be delivered by the end of this week.
Everything remains in place for the main construction to be completed by the end of October, with internal work continuing until the end of the year. Our thanks to the team on site led by Masicorp volunteer Colin Blaikie.
As part of our seedlings programme to support Early Childhood Development (ECD) we are committed to providing training for the staff of the crèches in Masiphumelele. Last week we held a certificate ceremony for staff from 19 crèches (15 in Masiphumelele and 4 from Ocean View). All of the attendees had completed a four day training event provided by the Unlimited Child and supported by both Masicorp and the Valley Development Project.
The Unlimited Child directly supports and promotes ECD in South Africa. They provide a programme that trains crèche caregivers in disadvantaged areas to use a high quality practitioner’s guide, alongside a directly linked kit of educational toys. Every toy and every piece of supporting equipment in the kit links directly to lessons and activities in the curriculum, providing the caregiver and children with a complete age-appropriate programme to use across the year. The programme is aligned with national standards for early childhood education and development, and is available in a range of local languages.
On completion of the training the 19 crèches will now receive the educational kits and training manuals from the Unlimited Child. All of the items are linked to the manual with clear daily instructions linked to fortnightly themes – such as arts and crafts, outdoor play, and construction. Masicorp in partnership with Valley Development Project will continue to monitor and support these crèches in the implementation or this learning programme. We will be identifying more centres to benefit from the training and the equipment.
Our congratulations to everyone that successfully completed the training.
Last week Masicorp held its first ever alumni event for the graduates of our bursary scheme at the Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands. Since its inception the scheme has produced 17 graduates and we were pleased that the majority of them could join us on the evening. With graduates in disciplines ranging from biotechnology to accountancy and town planning we certainly had a lot of academic knowledge shared with us.
Many thanks to our patron Dame Linda Dobbs, who was our speaker for the evening and congratulated the graduates on their success. She also took the time to remind everyone that as well as becoming graduates they have also become role models for the community of Masiphumelele. Their success has shown everyone what can be achieved through hard work and study and that education really is the route out of poverty.
Events such as this are also great networking opportunities and Dame Linda informed the graduates of the benefits of networking by recalling some examples from her own career as a high court judge in the UK. Last week’s event was an opportunity for graduates to network with each other and with Masicorp staff. We are already very grateful for the contacts provided by our graduates working in the local government that may be able to assist us with funding in the future.
With a further 25 students currently studying at university and the programme having grown in size in recent years this is a group that is sure to expand in size. We are already looking forward to the next event and to welcome the next batch of graduates to the group.
The final word on this year’s event comes from BA Psychology graduate, Thulisa Mayekiso, who left us this message the following day:
Yesterday I was reminded that I am special, educated, innovative and caring. That I am a role model to others.
And that I should be motivating others, modelling and encouraging.
In all that, I learned that I am blessed to be where I am today and I look forward to blessing others and help them find themselves as well as getting out of the situations they are facing.
I just want to say if I made it you can make it too, we all grew up in Masi, went to the same school facing the same challenges. All you need to do is to get up and find meaning for your life.