Emyezweni Pre-School, Lwandle
Emyezweni was started 16 years ago by Urban Voice as a Day Care facility for working women in the Xhosa community of Lwandle. It’s aim was to provide a safe place for children while their Mothers were at work. Children were enrolled and attended daily receiving breakfast and a cooked lunch.
Three local ladies were employed by the church to care for the children and basic child care and development courses were provided for the staff.
Urban Voice renovated the old hostel kitchens and a new roof was installed. The numbers of children attending the Day Care Centre fluctuated each year but were around 25 – 30 children on role each year.
In October 2001 a qualified primary school teacher began to work at Emyezweni and the older children were given pre-school activities to develop their literacy, numeracy and motor skills.
Since then, the School at Emyezweni has expanded quite considerably and now has 138 children on role. Although the vision for a Primary School still stands, to date we have been unable to register with the department and so financially having Primary aged children has not been viable. As a result of this, the Primary classes have slowly been phased out and this year our last class (of Grade 3’s) will be leaving us in December. Our staff team has also grown and we now have 8 paid members of staff working at Emyezweni.
Mr Bulpitt visited Emyezweni in August 2018
During the summer holidays I was fortunate to be able to visit Emyezweni Pre-School in the Lwandle Township in Somerset West, Cape Town SA. I was there to visit the staff and children who received the school uniform that you so kindly donated last year. Over 100kg of sweatshirts, t-shirts, jogging bottoms and dresses were sent to Emyezweni and they in turn sent the larger sizes onto a middle school in Somerset West.
The school is in the heart of the Lwandle Township and the children are taught in Xhosa and English, preparing them for ‘big school’.
I was asked to take an assembly and then spent time in lessons. The pictures below speak volumes of the impact coming to school each day in a smart uniform has on their view of school, and we trust in their future schooling. It was tangible to see how education can be used as a force for change in all communities, but specifically in South Africa.
I have added some photographs of my time at the school below, also a link to the charity in the UK that supports the school and church that it is associated with; http://www.ukuthasa.org/emyezweni-school.htm