Locals thriving at Bhongolethu

Two hundred children and 60 women are receiving good quality education thanks to the Bhongolethu Foundation.

The children are thriving under their teachers’ guidance and the women are excelling at learning to sew.

“The foundation is currently running an Early Childhood Development Centre for kids from two to five years and primary school kids from Grade R to Grade 2. The centre and the school are working closely to develop the kids socially and emotionally and also to introduce them to strong literacy and numeracy programmes,” says Tyler Sutcliffe, spokesperson for the foundation.

“The 60 women are excelling at learning to sew and are so excited about what they can make and what is possible with their sewing skill.

“We will be adding a grade each year and Grade 3 opens in 2019, and a sewing school to teach women and men from the community skills to become self-employed. The centre and the school have a Food Forest – a wonderful space for the children to learn about healthy eating. These food gardens grow vegetables which we use in our children’s lunches as we provide breakfast and lunch each day. We are also helping to manage a Waldorf kindergarten in Masiphumelele called Siyakhula,” she says.

Ocean View is also benefiting from the foundation and all the community organisations in both areas are working closely together to improve the lives of all involved.

“The residents experience a lot of challenges on a daily basis, like housing, education, health, safety and environmental issues. We receive some funding from the Department of Social Development and sponsors or donors. This financial backing helps us to achieve our dreams although funding is always an ongoing concern. We are always looking for child, class or family sponsors,” Sutcliffe says.

She also mentions that the foundation’s biggest need is to pay the water tariff monthly.

“The increase in the water tariff has hit us hard with no support from the City of Cape Town. We only use water for drinking, cooking and washing hands, but as you can imagine with 75 children in the ECD centre doing so, our daily average escalates. Even though each child is only using 6F a day we are charged domestic rates and receive an exorbitant account at the end of the month,” she says.

The foundation is also looking for funding to grow the primary school until Grade 7. They are hoping for sponsorship.

The foundation’s seven-member committee is working on growing the primary school and hope the project will be finalised in October.V Email Sutcliffe at tyler­@­bhongolethufoundation.­org.za.