Research shows that the largest part of brain development takes place during the first 2 years of a child’s life and that providing the best educational experience for preschoolers is imperative for their future growth and well-being, both psycho-socially and cognitively. Therefore Early childhood development services play a crucial role in alleviating the effects of poverty and gives the children of South Africa the opportunity to have the best start at life.
With the help of our funder, Biblionef Vlaanderen, City of Antwerp, we have been able to work toward better equipping an Early Childhood Development Training Centre. We have donated 12 book bags to Katlehong Early Learning Resource Unit’s (KELRU) Family and Community Motivator’s (FCM) Programme! Each bag contained 50 new storybooks in the children’s mother tongue; isiXhosa, Sesotho, isiZulu and English and 10 educational toys. The areas covered by the FCM’s are:
- Empilisweni Playgroup, Thokoza
- Somalia Park Playgroup, Vosloorus
- Villa Lisa Playgroup, Vosloorus
With this donation, we were able to provide a total of 175 children with the opportunity to read new storybooks and have access to new toys to encourage their learning through play. Each area has 4 facilitators and visits the families once a week. The book bags contain different books and toys, therefore the facilitators will rotate the bags to ensure that the children have access to new material all of the time.
Unfortunately, many families in the rural areas of South Africa are unable to send their children to Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD); therefore the use of FCM’s has grown countrywide. FCM Programmes allow trained facilitators to visit families that have very young children and make use of books and toys to develop their all-round development which includes their reading and motor skills. Children are then able to attend Grade R with the advantage of being able to learn according to their age and not that of a lower level. Teachers have reported that children who have attended the FCM Programme are much more advanced than the children who have not attended either the FCM Programme or ECD.