This is Nkosinathi. He started school at Thandokuhle Day Care in Orange Farm in February this year. He arrived without shoes, a jersey, school bag, book or even a pencil. He may not have the tools to learn, but through the kindness of one of the teachers at the centre, he now at least has the opportunity.
It was around January when Lorato Duma first noticed Nkosinathi coming to Thandokuhle with his aunty to drop off his cousin, Hlengiwe. “I noticed that he always come and leave, often he looks back,” she says. Lorato then spoke to the aunty to find out why Nathi was not at a crèche. “She told me that Nathi’s mother is not mentally stable so Nathi is not getting any grant, they don’t afford to pay the fees for him.”
Determined to do something about this, Lorato took Nathi’s granny’s phone number and asked if the granny would be willing to release Nathi to come to school then she would take care of his monthly fees. “I asked them to bring him a facecloth, tissue, book, pencil, and blanket and I will take care of monthly school fees. I asked them that thy must try put money aside for Nathi’s graduations as he will be graduating this year.”
Lorato says that Nathi is blossoming at the centre, although he may need extra, possibly medical, help as he is very slow for his age.
Nkosinathi is a fan of JAM porridge and it is as a result of JAM SA providing this regular breakfast that the centre has been able to take children like Nathi in. “With a help of getting soft porridge from JAM now we can be able to feed other kids from disadvantage families,” says Lorato.
Lorato is passionate about children and understands the importance of them having the opportunity to develop cognitively, emotionally and socially at an ECD centre. “The reason I wanted Nathi to come to our ECD is that children need education irrespective of the conditions at home, I felt that I owe it to God to make sure that kids are well cared, loved and get the right education and dignity,” she says.