On Monday, 13 August, the children, parents and teachers at Pooh Bear Educare in Delft, Cape Town were delighted to show their new centre off to the local community at an official opening event. Thanks to the generosity of Breadline Africa’s donors, they received a 60m2 prefabricated classroom, a six-metre container kitchen and a six-metre container toilet facility.
The centre was established in 2009 by Michelle Davids, who is passionate about the children in her community. She began by looking after just a few children from Blikkiesdorp who were left at home, unsupervised. As more children began arriving, she completed a first aid course and then started a course in early childhood development.
Running the centre from her home was not ideal, as the number of children attending the centre grew. In 2017, she applied to make use of land that was being used as a dumping site. Her husband was able to secure a loan, and Pooh Bear Educare now has the title deed to this land. This process stretched their meagre resources to the limit, so Michelle approached Breadline Africa for assistance to build a new centre.
At the launch event, an emotional Michelle took to the stage to thank Breadline Africa’s donors for her beautiful new centre. She explained the journey they had walked since 2009 and spoke about the hardships that they have faced along the way.
She said that she could not believe that they would no longer be using outside toilets, and would have the luxury of a toilet facility inside the premises. She said she would not have been able to do all of this alone, and thanked the parents, teachers and the surrounding community, who have helped her reach this wonderful milestone.
Dr Izanette Van Schalkwyk, a psychology researcher, was one of the guest speakers. She said: “We are all here because we know that children are important. I honour and commend Michelle for driving this school and always having a smile on her face while doing it. Michelle is a pillar of this community and the parents of these children are fortunate to have someone so caring to look after their children.”
The Breadline Africa team expressed a hope that the pre-school continues its good work, and helps to form a strong foundation for many more children in the community of Delft. The children sang nursery rhymes to entertain the guests, topping off an already exciting and emotional day!