BAOBAB Travel has been involved with Dalukhanyo pre-school in Langa, one of the oldest townships near Cape Town, for a number of years now. Many of the working women are single mums and need a safe environment for their children during working hours. Dalukhanyo is one of the few nursery facilities in Langa and fills the need for cheap and often even free daycare for babies up to 6 year old children.
Our support started with rather ad hoc financial support for very specific events and setting up & managing a Dalukhanyo website. More recently we have become more structured in our support and had several meetings with its Management Committee to identify the pre-school’s needs and set short & long-term objectives.
Our 2011 Achievements
One of the short term objectives identified was school uniforms or tracksuits and was seen as a priority issue. Many of the children come from poverty stricken backgrounds and have few clothes and often no proper clothes to keep them warm in winter.
In November 2010, Gordon and Pamela Gaddes from the UK visited Dalukhanyo on a township tour. On their return home, they decided that they wanted to continue supporting the pre-school and set up the Langa Township Pre-School Trust (LTPT). The Trust officially launched in June 2011 and their overall aim is to provide regular financial support to Dalukhanyo.
We now work very closely with the LTP Trust and hence their first project was to solve the priority issue of school uniforms. Nine baby outfits were bought and 185 tailor-made tracksuits with ‘Dalukhanyo Pre-School’ embroidered on the back, are produced in various sizes for next year’s intake. The tracksuits are made locally by a small company based in Athlone and run by Johanna, supporting the local community economically at the same time.
The children receive two meals and several snacks per day at Dalukhanyo, which are often the only meals they will get. The real challenge for the school lies in providing the children with nutritious meals, while spending as little as possible due to a lack of funds.
The LTP Trust now also assists with regular fresh vegetable deliveries that started in July 2011. Harvest of Hope delivers 7 boxes of fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables weekly to the school. The content of the veggie boxes varies throughout the growing season, but typically contains a mix of vegetable, such as potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, carrots, and lettuce, and eggs. These weekly vegetable deliveries help the school not only to save money on groceries, but also provide the children with healthy and nutritional meals.
At the same time it also supports the work of Abalimi Bezekhaya (Farmers of the Home), a non-profit development organisation based primarily in township communities like Nyanga and Khayelitsha. Residents in these townships are encouraged and supported to grow their own organic vegetables to feed their families. Some of these micro-farmers are now producing more than enough to feed their own extended families and often their neighbours. The surplus is sold on behalf of the farmers through Abalimi’s Harvest of Hope in the form of a weekly organic veggie box scheme in the Cape Town area.
Gordon and Pam will be visiting Cape Town and Dalukhanyo again in November this year, and we look forward to welcome them at the school, when we will discuss the Trust’s future involvement with projects at the school.
Some years ago, the local government built three prefab classrooms that now house Dalukhanyo’s 185 pupils. However the existing buildings are in desperate need of repair and a a fresh coat of paint, and there are several urgent plumbing issues that need sorting out.
The teachers and children at Dalukhanyo dream of being able to eventually rebuild their school and transform it into a space that will offer a safe and inspirational environment for the children to learn and play. But in reality there is still a lot that has to be done in terms of planning, approval, and fundraising, and it will probably be a couple of years before the building project can be launched.
Fundraising is currently underway to cover the cost of some basic repairs, painting supplies, and plumbing materials to ensure that the school can continue to operate and provide a safe and healthy environment for the children, and peace of mind to their working parents.
Let’s add a splash of colour!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could transform these drab and colourless buildings…..
….into a bright, cheerful and inspirational space similar to the Pakamani Crèche in Kayamandi?
Once all the basics and most urgent maintenance work has been completed, we hope to add some colourful designs to brighten up the kids playground and classrooms. We have been inspired by some of the other pre-school make-over projects around the country, and have been chatting to Xanele Puren from See-Saw-Do, a social enterprise that transforms the environments, where children reside and are taught in. They mainly focus on pre-schools and each is re-designed and painted according to a theme that is relevant to the facility and its community. They also design and illustrate locally relevant educational books in local languages, which can be distributed to pre-schools.
How can you Help?
If you would like to support Dalukhanyo Pre-School, please get in touch with us by phone (+44 (0)121 314 6011) or email.
Join us to bring light to Dalukhanyo’s future!