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Giving kiddies a kick-start in life

In White City, Jabavu, in the heart of Soweto is a gem of love and happiness known as the Bridgman Crèche. It caters for 50 toddlers aged from one to five years. Each weekday it’s alive with the excited babble of the learners who are divided into three classes – for one to two year olds, three and fours, and a grade R class to prepare five year olds for ‘big’ school. Each class has its own curriculum which includes a creative activity, story-telling, music (singing) and learning about colours, numbers, vowels, shapes, seasons, months and days. Various life skills come into each programme such as general hygiene. Each month has a theme such as ‘My Family’.

The day starts with a prayer, healthy breakfast then come the lessons. After lunch the kids enjoy a time for play then a well-earned rest. An afternoon snack is provided. When we can we sneak in a little food parcel for the most destitute kids to take home as their parents often cannot provide.

Administrator, friendly Major Happy Madonsela took over the crèche just before the start of the corona virus. Very soon the lockdown hit and the crèche was closed in March of 2020. The kids would still come to the crèche looking for food and we managed to provide take-home food for them. This is a poor community, and most of the children are raised by single parents.

I love these children,” says the Major. “They are like my own. My heart goes out to them” – she has two children and four grandchildren.

The Major is preparing to start a veggie garden, which will be great fun and for the kids to start learning about agriculture. She is supported by three teachers all committed and deeply dedicated.