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Educare Centre & Grade R

Baphumelele Educare Centre provided the genesis for what is today a widespread community-based project in Khayelitsha.

Beginning with Rosie Mashale’s undertaking back in 1989 to look after unsupervised neighbourhood children – abandoned street kids and those left fending for themselves while their parents were away at work during the day – a community crèche (preschool) was formed. Today Baphumelele Educare Centre provides Waldorf-based learning for over 230 children aged three months to five years. As some of the children are malnourished, breakfast and lunch are provided to ensure that each child receives at least two regular meals per day.

In January 2007, the Educare Centre introduced Grade R for the 5-6 year olds. The goal is to prepare our children for primary school and to give them a good foundation for their educational lives. Classroom topics range from numeracy and literacy to road safety and community. While the curriculum follows the official standards set for Grade R classes in South Africa, elements of Waldorf education are incorporated as well.

Currently there are 12 teachers, two cooks and one caretaker employed by the Educare Centre. Volunteers who can assist teachers with creative learning, music, art and games are always in demand.

As the Educare and Grade R provide essential educational services to the local community, especially those parents who have managed to find work , it is partly funded by local government departments. Parents also pay a small fee towards their children’s care.

However there is always a need for improvements to the buildings and equipment which are not funded. Monica has started a campaign to raise funds and would dearly love your support for the following:

Renovation of the playground especially the jungle gym which has withstood almost 20 years of young children jumping about but is finally on its last legs

Support for an extension to the Grade R classrooms on the upper floor. Since its inception the Grade R facility has been full to capacity. As qualified Grade R teachers, Monica and Lucia have been offering a much needed opportunity to the local children of Z section and Site B here in Khayelitsha. With more than 45 children, the two existing classrooms are now very cramped. Monica’s plan is to build extra rooms to ensure that all the children can participate in the Grade R.

Although there is a team of teachers working hard with the children, volunteers working as classroom assistants have been so inspiring in providing the young children with extra attention and afterschool classes. For more information on volunteering please check out our dedicated volunteering page

For more details on this project and if you are interested in helping, please contact the Baphumelele office.

Many thanks for your interest.