When you walk into Siyanqoba crèche, you will be greeted with a big smile and loud “Sanibona!” from Mama Mbuyazi, the principal of the crèche. She will often have a baby on her back and 15 or more other smiling children surrounding her. Behind her, you will see a small and dilapidated mud hut…the crèche building.
Siyanqoba crèche is one of the 8 crèches we work with, as part of The Happy Africa Foundation’s and our partner’s, African Impact, Education Support Program in St. Lucia, South Africa. Mama Mbuyazi started the crèche in 2013 because she “didnt want to see mothers not being able to work when they didnt have anywhere to leave their children.” Due to her hard work and dedication, the crèche has been very successful from the start. Despite the fact that Mama Mbuyazi doesnt receive any payment or government funding for her work and that the crèche is currently just a mud hut, Mama Mbuyazi’s passion for children and education, has enticed many parents in the area to send their children to her crèche.
Since Mama Mbuyazi opened the crèche, she has had a consistent attendance of over 40 kids every day. She also constantly receives praise from the elementary school teachers, stating that the children coming from her crèche are always some of the most well prepared and the ones with the best English, when starting primary school.
The current crèche building is a dilapidated mud hut that is an unsafe and uncomfortable learning and teaching environment for the children and teachers. Mama Mbuyazi has tried to improve the facilities, but she doesn’t receive payment from the parents or support from the government, so she has lacked the funds to do so. However, she was able to acquire a new piece of land where she could then eventually build her new crèche. This new land is very important, as it is a necessary step in order for her to apply for government funding of her crèche. The current crèche building is on the same land as Mama Mbuyazi’s house, which is not only inconvenient for Mama Mbuyazi’s family and the crèche children, but it is also not allowed when trying to register a crèche in order to receive government funding.
After working with Mama Mbuyazi for a couple of years, and seeing how much work she puts into her crèche, and how much she cares about the children and their future, we decided that we wanted to help, by building her a new crèche building. This new crèche aims to improve on the crèche’s safety and the children’s learning environment by providing them with a safe and structurally sound building. It will also add to the sustainability of the crèche, allowing Mama Mbuyazi to help the children in her village for years to come. When we told Mama Mbuyazi about our plans, she was very grateful and excited, saying “I am very happy about this new crèche and site because now the children will have their own place, as the crèche will no longer be in my property with all my relatives. This new building will also be nicer and safer for the children."
This project is already underway. We have started clearing the area in the new land, and will begin construction this week. Please help us make this dream a reality by donating online.