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lf you were one of the lucky ones …

From the moment we are born, we begin to learn. How to reach out and grasp a toy … crawl after a rolling ball … fit puzzle pieces into different shaped spaces. There is so much to explore and discover!

If we’re lucky, we get all the stimulation and encouragement we need. We learn to count and identify colours. We have wonderful picture books that help us learn about animals, farms and construction sites. We get to go to beautiful nursery schools with playgrounds full of jungle gyms, slides, sandpits and swings. Caring staff read us stories and teach us to sing children’s songs.

But hundreds of little boys and girls right here in Johannesburg are not as fortunate. These are the kids growing up in impoverished inner city neighbourhoods like Hillbrow, Yeoville, Bertrams, Troyeville, Bezuidenhout Valley and the CBD.

Home is a crowded one room flat with no room for toys or books, even if their parents could afford them. Parents are focussed on keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. They can’t afford R3 000 a month or more to send their child to a good nursery school or creche. Nor do they have a car to drive their kids into the suburbs where most of the better equipped care centres are situated.

Instead, small children are left to fend for themselves while mom or dad are at work. Or sent to informal, poorly resourced care centres, which provide only the minimum of food and supervision necessary to keep children safe during the day.

The result? Children who are already behind before they even start school. And statistics show that most never catch up. These are the kids that drop out of school early, without the knowledge and qualifications they need to be employable. And so the cycle of poverty continues.

Education has the power to change lives. Please help us give these kids a better start, by making a donation towards our Funda Ngo Thando ECD Centre.

ECD CentreSituated at the Johannesburg Children’s Home in Observatory, our Centre provides top quality care and programmes to poor families in the surrounding communities. It is bright and spacious, well equipped, with lots of space for children to run, play, and explore their surroundings. Staff are well trained, keen and involved, and always looking for ways to make the world a little better for the children in their care.

Parents pay what they can afford. Which isn’t much. Certainly not enough to cover teachers’ salaries or materials such as paint and paper and glue – or even meals for the little ones. Without help from caring people like you, the Centre could not carry on.

So please, will you join our circle of supporters – and help give these kids the right start – now? Your gift of R250 will pay for a child’s meals for a month. R500 pays for a week of schooling. And R2 000 pays for a whole month!

It’s true these children are not your responsibility. They are everyone’s responsibility. Because if we fail them now, we must accept their failure to become successful contributing members of society in the future.

ECD is the critical building block that sets the foundation for the rest of a child’s schooling. Please join us on our journey as we embark on giving little ones hope for a brighter future. Your donation can make the world of difference.

Thank you for caring.

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“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

– Theodore Roosevelt