Local crèche vandalised

Parents and staff from a local crèche in Belgravia were left in shock after stepping into vandalised school premises last Monday.

About 50 children between the ages of one and six were sent back home due to severe damages to several classrooms.

Shareen Isaacs, the principal of Belgravia Educare Centre in Veld Street, says the damages have since forced her to shut down the school for a few days.

“When we arrived at the educare at 07:00 last Monday, the main hall was completely flooded with water. We didn’t know what was happening and only after we started opening up all the other classrooms, did we realise what had happened,” she explains.

“It is believed that the damage to the property occurred over the weekend. The windows and doors were broken down, toilets and hand basins were knocked into pieces, and all the taps were completely out of the walls.”

Isaacs says several water pipes and electricity cables were also stolen from the premises.

“Extensive damage was done to the school and it was not suitable for the kids to be in at all. Not only was the place flooded with water and with scattered glass pieces, but it was also dark and we couldn’t work with them in such conditions.

“Our kitchen was also damaged. Electrical appliances which include a microwave and kettles were stolen along with all our food.

“We cook each and every day for the children. These suspects even stole all our pots and utensils, leaving us with only one pan. This is very sad and I hope the police are able to help us find the people responsible for this.”

Isaacs is still struggling to determine how the suspects entered the premises with several sensors and alarms in place.

“They must have done something very brilliant for these alarms and sensors to not catch their movement, like they usually do. Even the security company wasn’t alerted to the premises at the time. We managed to save a few items and are putting them together to accommodate the kids again. Luckily the insurance will be fixing up several damages which include that of the toilets and the reconnection of electricity. However, we are forced to look for donations towards food and cooking pots that were stolen, as we are a non-profit organisation and normally raise funds for our needs. The public is herewith welcome to assist us.”

The staff took to the streets last week for a small picket asking locals to keep their hands off the premises.

“This place was sponsored and we want to protect it in order to accommodate our children. We urge the public to please keep their hands off our educare, as it is benefiting many in the community, especially these little ones,” adds Isaacs.

Sergeant Zita Norman from Athlone Police Station confirmed police are currently investigating the case and are calling on the public to come forward with any information relating to the vandalism. V To assist Belgravia Educare Centre, call Shareen Isaacs on 021 697 7002, or call Athlone Police Station on 021 697 9214.