Research around the world has shown that the best way to break the poverty cycle is through education. Unfortunately our South African education system is in a crisis. More than half the children who start Grade 1 drop out of school before Matric, and the “real” Matric pass rate for 2020 is estimated at 44% (News24, 2021). Statistics SA reports that only 37% of children 0-4 currently attend an ECD facility and less than half of the children under five have access to ECD programs, despite this being the best time to invest in a child’s education (see graph).
Providing quality ECD is by far the most effective way of ensuring that children pass through the foundation phase successfully, with the necessary skills and knowledge required for subject work and more advanced content.
Sensitive periods for brain development that are critical to educational success peak in the pre-school years, including number, language and emotional control (see graph). Stimulation during these years determines potential for holistic development, and most of this potential is built while a child is playing and exploring. Young children need many different experiences to create the neural pathways and connections required for further learning.
Singakwenza, meaning “We can do it!”, is a non-profit organisation which focuses on Early Childhood Education. We train practitioners, parents and caregivers at a grassroots level to provide fun, educational activities that enable young children to develop, through play, the foundation skills for learning, supported by resources made solely from recycling. These educational toys teach the same concepts as purchased toys, but for zero cost. Bread bags become skipping ropes, margarine containers become cars, yoghurt containers become shape sorters and cereal boxes become maths games. All the parent or crèche teacher needs is a pair of sharp scissors and a marker pen, and they will be able to make everything they need to provide a fun-filled, stimulating environment from packaging that is readily available. Packaging that would usually be thrown away now has a value for both adults and children, so the program is good for the environment too!
We train practitioners on-site at their crèches, and help to transform them from babysitters to facilitators who understand the role of play in early development. Our trainers work in each crèche one day a week for 2 years, teaching the practitioners how to educate their pupils using resources they make themselves. This ensures that the children in these centres enter school intellectually, physically and developmentally prepared. Our Occupational Therapy program ensures that no child is disadvantaged by developmental delays, and our Basic Bookkeeping training helps each crèche to become a sustainable business. We also run Waste 2 Toys workshops throughout Southern Africa, teaching parents, educators and caregivers how they can provide fun, stimulating activities that cost nothing, yet build vital foundations. This YouTube link gives a brief overview of our program in action - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOnvE_py2AQ
or read more about us on our website: www.singakwenza.co.za
Singakwenza is a fully registered Non Profit Company (Section 18a) and Public Benefit Organisation with >75% Black Beneficiaries, for companies needing Socio Economic Development (SED) and Enterprise Development (ED) points for their B-BBEE scorecards, as well as being an Empowering Supplier with a Level 1 B-BBEE rating.
033 343 1650 www.singakwenza.co.za