This past month has been nothing short of dreadful. Inter-provincial travel from Gauteng was banned then came unrest in KZN and suddenly a lovely winter season was no more. Obliterated. Coupled with this; the spaniels took on a puffy, our old man was suddenly man-down with a lurgy and our eldest celebrated her 18th birthday in Covid isolation. It seems the universe is against us. Is it?
My wise cousin always has good advice. Focus on what needs doing today. Then move on to tomorrow. Suddenly the most simple is the most profound. Just ask artist, Charlie Mackesy!
So the beauty is not lost. Just focus on what is. Last week I had the privilege of visiting the village once again. Schools were opening and the children would need porridge. amaZizi is a vast rural space filled with the most sincere and gorgeous of people. We were welcomed, we were greeted and there was a real appreciation for the goods delivered. Teachers were cleaning and organising and a few little schools had children present. The brightness and eagerness is just so encouraging. There is mountains of potential just waiting to be realised.
There are 18 little schools that we support in the wider community. This year we are taking a new step and broadening our reach a tiny bit more. Royal Drakensberg and Khanyisela will work closely in helping build development plans for continual improvement and growth. My one concern has always been teaching. We can have the best resources but we need a brilliant facilitator to really grow children’s brains. The first 5 years are the MOST important. And there is so much to learn….
We will also be looking at ways of encouraging reading and growing literacy in homes. Just 15 minutes every day with children can result in much advancement. How do we encourage this? What do we do? There is talk of book reading and sharing by hosting community events… we will let you know as we go, as we grow!
It is a concern that ECD in South Africa is generally driven by NGOs and dedicated individuals. It’s infuriating that a budget of millions was returned to Treasury because Social Development couldn’t co-ordinate a plan and implement it. But, we cannot dwell on what is not. We must continue to look to today and focus on what is.
We have a generation of children who have incredible potential. Let’s spark it. We have a community of parents who need support. Let’s do it. We have a collective of teachers that are determined. Let’s inspire them.
Let’s make it a beautiful day. Today, tomorrow and the day after.