As we look back to 1956 when 20 000 women marched in South Africa in resistance to needing to carrying pass books, we highlight the women of today who continue to fight against injustice in their communities.
These are the mamas and gogos of the community who started their child care centres to give children a safe place to learn and play instead of running around on the streets while their parents are at work.
“All the mamas are dedicated and have a passion to work, empower and develop the young ones in different aspects of growth and development. They see early childhood development as being a weapon for every child,” comments Tshidiso Mokoena, Orange Farm supervisor for JAM SA.
An American woman and faithful JAM partner, Susie Simon, also recognises the important role that these mamas play and helped to raise money to fund eight of them to go for further training in early childhood development (ECD). “You can provide a physical building, but it’s just shelter from the elements unless the children can learn and grow in their development towards making a good start at a better life for themselves,” she says. “The mamas hold this key and without proper training, they can’t turn the key for these precious little ones. I saw the need and when you know the resources are there, how can you NOT do something about it!”
The chosen eight mamas are Mulatedzi Madzihie, Sannah Bukiwe Moremedi, Gloria Hlosiwe Phakathi, Victoria Mankoko Sekekete, Emilly Tshabalala, Elizabeth Mathevhula and Zoliswa Nhlangwini.
They will be attending an 18-month training course at the Teachers Learning Centre (TLC) for Early Childhood Development. TLC specialises in providing high quality educational qualifications and programmes that are accredited with the ETDP-SETA and aligned with the Government’s legislation and policies. For more information, visit their website.
Mama Zoliswa Nhlangwini can’t wait to get started. “From now towards I can see the goals that await for the good future of early childhood development. Thank you to everyone who made it possible for us to get to the Level 4. Halala JAM Halala!”
With full tummies thanks to JAM SA’s highly nutritious CSS+ porridge, the children who attend these eight centres will now be better equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to cope at ‘big school’ thanks to this teacher training.
“These kids are our future and need security, kindness and right methods of teaching their minds and hearts for sound development. If the mamas and their aides are taught how to do this in the right way through this teacher training, these children will bloom like beautiful flowers and become the strong leaders our community and country need,” says Simon.
“We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Susie Simon and JAM partners for making it possible for the eight mamas to go for this training. It will truly make a difference. With you, our community is fed body and mind,” concludes Mokoena.