Covid-19 has us still under control! Some easing of restrictions was introduced from 1st June and certain sections of the economy were carefully re-started – thus allowing some people to finally go back to their jobs and earn an income.
In the townships, many people work without a fixed contract / income; they exist hand-to-mouth. These people have had no income since 27 March 2020 (the first day of the lockdown) to buy food, electricity, disinfectants or even face masks. This is where we help.
In the first instance, we made up grocery packages for parents of Little Lambs – then, in Mid-May, we gave them vouchers totalling R60’000 to buy necessities from the local branch of the Checkers Supermarket chain. Recently, we were again able to distribute to these families vouchers for the same amount. This was only possible because sponsors made such generous donations to support this food-supply campaign – otherwise it would not have been possible.
I had the experience of one father, Vincent, who read the covering letter attached to the voucher which asked parents to please continue paying school fees. He looked at me in embarrassment and explained that he currently has no job and no money; he is waiting for a message from his boss as to when he can work again. He apologised that it was impossible for him to pay school fees as he has already great difficulty to even provide food for his young family.
This is the big dilemma faced by all kindergartens. It is a question of bare survival for these facilities as all are dependent on income from fees – otherwise how are the standing expenses of wages, rents, insurance etc. to be paid? I was able to speak to some mothers who normally work as domestics. Even now, when most can go back to work, it is often not happening because either their regular employers have their own financial problems or these employers fear the risk of infection being brought from the townships if the Domestics resume work in their homes.
Our dilemma is that we feeling morally obligated to hand out food parcels or vouchers so the children do not become malnourished and, at the same time, ask parents to pay school fees – even though we are aware that many of them cannot or will not respond to this call since their children are not yet allowed to attend kindergarten – and so why should they pay.
Some parents write and report how happy and grateful they are for our help at this difficult time.
One of these letters is shared hereunder as it is your financial support which is being acknowledged:
I am a mother of Hannah. She is in the Purple Class and started schooling at Little Lambs since she was a baby of 1 year. Little Lambs is a very helpful Day Care, with a good principal and great teachers.
During the lockdown period this school is helping us a lot, they are providing us with a lot of groceries and vegetables. The grocery parcels they are giving us is enough for my whole family, my husband, me and my 3 kids.
We are really happy with what Little Lambs is doing, helping us in our everyday lives. They are even giving us vouchers to buy groceries and electricity at Checkers. We really appreciate everything this day care is doing in this lockdown period. God bless you all.
Regards Hannah N.
You can imagine how empty all the kindergartens currently are!!
There is still no date given for when the younger children can return. Enquiries are constantly being made as to when Little Lambs will re-open – because parents will be starting to return to work and want to leave their children in a safe place. Feeding the children is also of great concern because at kindergarten they were regularly and healthily nourished. Right now there is no guarantee of daily food for any of them.
[22 May 2020]
Even after 57 days of lockdown, only a few easing measures are anticipated as of 1 June 2020. A lot of opposition has been building up to the current lockdown – especially regarding the many, and partially illogical, regulations many of which are incomprehensible to the majority of the SA population.
The serious financial consequences for the economy are being discussed in the news while more and more children and poor people suffer from malnutrition and other signs of deficiency. In these extra-ordinary and difficult times, we see ourselves forced to not only support the 6 projects of the Kinderhilfe Kapstadt but also to consider requests from 3 other organisations to help relieve their pressing financial distress.
Again, we ask for your trust and empathy in the sure knowledge that your donations to us go where there is the greatest need.
Hereunder is an brief overview of our 6 current, plus 3 extra projects – as well as the financial support being provided this year by Kinderhilfe Kapstadt to them via your generous donations.
Little Lambs Christian Daycare in Hout Bay:
Presently, 18 employees look after 300 children aged 1-6 years.
A new after-school care facility was in the planning for our Little Lambs children once they leave for Primary School – but this project has had to be placed on hold due to Covid 19 situation.
Instead we are now supporting, on a monthly basis, 300 families with food parcels and vouchers as well as continuing to pay wages to our 18 teachers and assistants. At the same time, we are receiving no school fees as most parents are out of work and thus have no income.
The funding to pay for these food parcels and vouchers was only made possible by the heartfelt responses of sponsors to Kinderhilfe Kapstadt’s urgent appeal for financial help.
To read the news about our other projects and support of 3 other organisations please click here for the whole report (pdf file).
Our projects include…
The three other organisations we support are…
What an amazing response from so very many you to our donation campaign!
It is with heartfelt gratitude that we thank you for your most generous contributions – which enabled us to plan and distribute the food parcels efficiently and timeously.
The 300 food parcels of 18 kg each were packed by YeboFresh and transported to Little Lambs by HomeHeroes – both well-known local Hout Bay companies.
On both Monday and Tuesday mornings, 150 parcels were delivered to Little Lambs and distributed those same afternoons to our parents. This planning was to ensure stocks were not stored on the premises and risk the possibility of break-ins overnight.
Even before the set starting time, long queues of Mothers formed outside our gate; all waiting patiently to collect a food parcel. The first day, Monday, was particularly difficult as it rained and thus made the waiting even more stressful.
The distribution of the food parcels turned out to be logistically challenging because, under the health precautions, social distancing and the wearing of face masks and gloves had to be strictly adhered to. Geraldine was, however, prepared and provided face masks and gloves for nearly all the 300 people as the majority of parents arrived without any protection whatsoever!
After each one was handed a mask and gloves, 8 parents at a time were admitted to the property; each was then asked to sign the class attendance register of their child before 4 carry bags of food were handed over.
Not all the Mothers showed their emotions openly: some spontaneously wanted to hug the class teacher; some laughed and chatted happily amongst the group – mostly in their mother tongue, Xhosa; a few even approached me to thank me. Others kept their eyes on the ground while they quietly lifted the parcels onto their heads and hurried home as quickly as possible.
I was left with mixture feelings of achievement and sadness – and remember the recent words of our President Cyril Ramaphosa:
“There can be no greater anguish than that of a parent whose children cry out to them for food – but they have none to give.”
In this sense, the Trustees of SEEDS Trust thanks you from the bottom of their hearts for your amazing generosity during the past few days. It is the greatest desire of us all that this nightmare will soon be over, allowing us to resume contact with our family and friends and embracing them warmly.
Warm regards and stay healthy!
On 18 March 2020, all schools and ECD centres were closed. One week later a complete 21 day ‘lockdown’ was enforced. This means that all citizens must stay at home – not even being permitted to go jogging or dog-walking. These stringent measures are aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. At this time, the terrible inequality which exits in our society is brought to strong light!
For many, the lockdown means staying home in the comfort of a nice house and enjoying a perfect day in the garden; for others it becomes more difficult when having to remain inside a flat – but, for people living in the townshjps this is a horrific situation. The army is trying in vain to enforce the law by sometimes brutally ordering people back into their tiny, corrugated iron shacks. How is it possible for a family to survive 24 hours a day for 21 days in a tiny room of 5m x 7m without proper hygiene, sufficient water or social contact?? Even if these families do not get infected by the virus, they will probably crack emotionally and mentally. Domestic violence and abuse are rapidly increasing – aggravated by the prohibition of sales of all cigarettes and alcohol – and resulting increased drug dealing.
The economic implications this lockdown already has and will continue to have on South Africa’s businesses and population is immeasurable. A major problem is that many people do not qualify for benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund nor any social welfare, nor any government-funded support during this lockdown.
At the beginning of this year, SEEDS Trust and Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt were keen to progress with the building of two new After-School Care Centres – the one being in Calitzdorp at the Heuwel Speelskool and the other at Little Lambs in Hout Bay.
However, during this difficult time of Corona Virus, we need to prioritize! Current developments force us to make extraordinary decisions: All schools and ECD centres must remain closed until government lifts the lockdown. Parents are not earning money – thus they cannot pay school fees. With no school fees being paid, there is obviously a major shortfall in income – but every Educare must still pay salaries, rental and other monthly expenses.
Another major concern is that, all of our children received at school two warm meals. Due to their loss of income, parents are now unable regularly to provide food for themselves and their children. Many families are going hungry!
In these difficult times it is our greatest aim to financially support, maintain and care for our projects and partner organisations e.g. Little Lambs, True-North, Heuwel Speelskool, Zakhisiwe and iKaya le Themba – and to overcome the challenges being faced. For this we need to rely on your support.
For those of you who can and want to help, we will be truly grateful for your assistance to help to continue to pay the pre-school staff salaries and to provide food parcels to the families of the children. Your generosity and on-going support will help us get through this really anxious time.
Our banking details:
The SEEDS Trust
Standard Bank, Constantia
Account No.: 076021459
Branch Code: 025309
May we soon settle into ‘real’ life again – perhaps having all of us learnt some exceptional lessons which will enable us to continue the exceptional work we are achieving together ……… perhaps even bigger and better than before!! Be safe – stay at home!
Graduation for 45 Little Lambs children
It is a requirement of the Department of Education that Kindergarten children make outings annually; something we also find valuable for their introduction to and knowledge of what is ‘on their doorstep’. Their previous outing was an excursion to Hout Bay Beach, this latest one was to the Zip Zap Circus School in town.
The bus trip was their first exciting experience. They passed and were informed about Table Mountain, one of the natural wonders of the world, and then drove through Cape Town city centre to the Zip Zap Circus School on the Foreshore.
The children were ecstatic! Under the patient guidance of circus acts’ experts, they were shown how to climb, jump, balance, swing and juggle.
For me, personally, it was amazing to witness the joy that being taught these skills brought to the children. Later, I appreciated even more how their confidence was boosted when they could afterwards demonstrate their new skills.
Nelson Mandela spent 67 years of his life working for justice; 27 of those years were spent in 3 prisons viz. Robbin Island, Pollsmore and Victor Venster. To commemorate his life, all those living in South Africa are asked to give 67 minutes of their time (as a starting point) to a ‘good cause’ every 18th of July – ‘Mandela Day’.
And so, this July 18th was the first experience of this ‘giving’ for the 5-6 year olds of ‘Little Lambs’ who enthusiastically entered into the task of preparing sandwiches to donate to the less fortunate children of Imizamo Yethu township.
To start, it was awkward for these little ones to handle ‘knives’ for spreading – since they normally eat only with spoons; but they made big efforts and in the end we had a pile of sandwiches to gift to the children from Silikamva High School – who were suitably appreciative and impressed by the efforts of the smaller children.
On Wednesday, April 10th the children of Little Lambs Educare were taken on an excursion to enjoy the beautiful Hout Bay beach. Although most of these children live nearby in the township of Imizamo Yethu, not many parents have ever taken their children to the beach.
Shortly after breakfast, 70 Grade R children were transported by bus from the Day Care to the Museum in Hout Bay. Teacher Claudia was expecting them and had displayed mussels and other shells, pebbles and sea sand, seaweeds, starfish and pictures of various fish on a big table.
She then told interesting stories about these different sea dwellers; also about boats and fishing, high and low tides, and the wonderful Cape Town beaches. Claudia also explained to the children how the sea is being polluted and urged them to recycle cool drink containers whenever possible.
After enjoying a small snack, the children were driven by bus to the beach. They were so excited to scramble around and to explore the rocks. When the first child discovered a shell and proudly held it high, the others then competed to find the biggest and the most beautiful shells.
Some children even dared to enter the water – which caused a lot of laughter from their friends when they hopped from one leg to the other because the Atlantic water was so icy cold.
It was a fun-filled morning – with fine weather and warm temperatures. At the end of the outing, the children were bussed back to Little Lambs where they then ate a nutritious meal before happy exhaustion had them succumbing to a much needed sleep on their mattresses.
The next day, as part of their school work, the children were asked to paint pictures of some of the new things they had seen and experienced.
A big thank you to all the teachers and volunteers who participated in caring for the children during this wonderful outing.
Our Grade R children
Hout Bay beach
© Little Lambs Christian Daycare