Woolies staff, Newkidz help Cape childcare centres

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Woolies-newkidz-1One of the focus areas for the Woolworths Trust has been encouraging employees’ long history of supporting social causes

In a recent venture, the Woolworths Trust made it possible for Woolworths staff members to team up with an inspiring organisation called Newkidz, to renovate 10 facilities that care for children in Cape Town.

Newkidz on the block is a Cape Town based non-profit organisation that helps to establish loving homes for orphaned, vulnerable and destitute children. They run a programme which facilitates the renovation and maintenance of children’s homes, foster family homes and Early Childhood Development Centres with the help of corporate sponsors.

SUPPORTING SOCIAL CAUSES

One of the focus areas for the Woolworths Trust has been encouraging employees’ long history of supporting social causes, schools and charities in their local communities.

“Employee volunteering and giving is an important part of our CSI strategy,” says Woolworths Trust head of transformation Zinzi Mgolodela. “Woolworths Trust matches funds raised by employees for projects they choose to support as well as provides opportunities for employees to actively get involved and volunteer to make a difference at a charity.

“Together with our staff we joined Newkidz to make a contribution that will potentially change the lives of children.”

The ten facilities that care for children were selected by Newkidz and represent a diverse cross-section of the communities in Cape Town. The investment has reached approximately 700 kids across the 10 organisations.

EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTRES

Heatherdale Children’s Home
This children’s home is located in Athlone and accommodates approximately 43 boys and girls, up to the age of 18, all in need of care. Like so many children’s homes, where funding is tight, maintenance moves to the bottom of the priority list. The boy’s dormitories need some tender loving care. Woolworths staff repainted the rooms; repaired the cupboards and replaced the soft finishes to create a pleasant environment for these young boys to live in.

Carol’s day care centre
This centre in Mitchells Plain didn’t have a suitable play area for the children, so Woolworths staff fenced off an area; installed a play structure; created a garden; painted the perimeter walls and generally made it a colourful play area for the children.

Zanethemba Kidz Haven
This EduCare is in the Philippi area. Newkidz on the block replaced their previous shack with a sturdy and much larger Wendy house, while Woolworths staff varnished the Wendy house and erected a shade cover to protect kids from the sun.

Free to grow EduCare
This EduCare is in the Blue Downs community. Their current one-room building structure is sound but needed to be brightened up and finished off. Staff revamped the interior and exterior of this EduCare centre making it a more conducive environment for children to learn.

Hands of compassion
Glenda and her team prepare and serve a hearty meal to over 100 hungry people in the Retreat area every week. The building they meet in was thirsty for a fresh coat of paint and the kitchen desperately needed to be improved. Their kitchen was upgraded the exterior of the building was painted.

SOS Children’s Village
This village is located in Thornton. It is a large facility made up of cottages where the children live in “families” with a carer. Many children remain in children’s homes for long periods of time and in the case of older children, when they reach the age of 18 and have to leave the facility, they are ill-equipped to fend for themselves. SOS has two free-standing cottages on their property which they call transitioning homes. These two cottages were improved by general maintenance; upgrading of the kitchen; repairing the bedroom cupboards; a fresh coat of paint and the supply new soft finishes.

Place of blessing
This EduCare is in Guguletu and is managed by Muriel. Muriel has a great heart for children and has grown this centre to be a well-functioning EduCare plus soup kitchen for the children in the area plus a much needed after care facility. This large project received general maintenance; painting; upgrading their soup kitchen; an enhancement of their large existing vegetable garden and more.

Nokhwezi EduCare
Nokhwezi is in Mfuleni. Like most EduCares in the community, the school fees that they receive is minimal and even with the government subsidy it is difficult to keep a hand on much needed maintenance. The exterior of the building needed a fresh coat of paint as well as the playground needed repair work and the garden some brightening up.

Khuti’s Homecare for disabled children
Khuti is an unsung hero. She is the voice for disabled children. She has tirelessly committed her life to caring for children with severe disabilities, especially in the Khayelitsha area. Breadline Africa donated revamped containers for their accommodation. They needed and upgrade of the garden around the building so that the children can sit outside under a tree or on the grass.

Khulangolwazi EduCare
Setyenzwa runs this large EduCare in Khayelitsha. A few years ago Newkidz on the block completed a project there and installed new play structures and gave them a new Grade R classroom in the form of a container. The exterior of this centre needed a fresh coat of paint and to repair the play structures. A team from Woolworths spent the day improving the outside of the EduCare and enhancing the vegetable garden.

Woolies-newkidz-2
Carol’s day care centre in Mitchells Plain didn’t have a suitable play area for the children, so Woolworths staff fenced off an area; installed a play structure; created a garden; painted the perimeter walls (Images: Woolworths)

PRACTICAL CONTRIUBTIONS

“Early Childhood Development (ECD) is an important phase in a child’s life yet so many communities lack ECD centres to educate and equip kids during their foundation years. And strategic partnerships like these are what enable us to continue to do what we do and have an impact,” says Newkidz spokesperson Hilda de Beer.

“It is an amazing statement of support when a company frees up their staff for up to 3 days per project. The 10 children’s homes that we’re part of this project were incredibly thankful to Woolworths staff for their efforts,” she added.

“We’d like to encourage individuals and organisations to consider how they can make a practical contribution like Woolworths did. We need strategic partnerships like these to extend the reach of our projects and transform the lives of kids that find themselves in trying socio-economic circumstances.”