Community members, family and participating partners gathered to celebrate the launch of the recently upgraded Bokamoso Educare, in Stilwater, Kimberley.  Along with the centre’s Director and staff, the children who are taken care of at this early childhood development centre, expressed their delight and joy, on seeing the results of this extensive refurbishment programme, especially the outdoor equipment, play areas and the vegetable garden, a favourite amongst the youngsters.

The upgrades included a redesigned kitchen, classrooms, bathrooms and a wholly upgraded building that is modern and better equipped to provide quality services to the young children of this community. Even an office and sick bay area has been added, where children who are ill can be accommodated, and monitored by the principal. In addition to this the centre has received the appropriate education material and outdoor equipment that compliments early childhood development (ECD) learning; its teachers, principal and the governing body will receive skills enhancement training, all of which form part of Droogfontein Solar Power’s social development programme.

This ECD centre is the third of the fifteen local ECD establishments that will benefit from Droogfontein Solar Power’s refurbishment programme.  The programme is being rolled-out over a period of 3 years and take place alongside the Solar Farm’s commitment to provide teacher bursary programmes, skills training for improved education centre management, and teacher mentorship programmes.

“Investment in the development, care and protection of children’s needs, is a priority, as it is our vision to ensure that ECD centres move from being day care facilities to centres of education and development that are sustainable and can offer the best care possible,” explained Mark Pickering, General Manager for Droogfontein Solar Power.

Droogfontein Solar Power’s commitment to funding Early Childhood Development Programmes is part of a partnership with the Department of Education which includes the funding of 20 Early Childhood Development practitioners from Riverton, Ritchie, Barkly West and Kimberley to upgrade their skills through North West University. It also includes management and mentorship support for the 15 ECD Centre Managers including Bokamoso, the renovation and refurbishment of at least two crèches per annum.

“We’ve invested R1.5million this last year, which includes the upgrades to Bokamoso’s Educare and Mickeys Kids Day Care Centre, with two more facilities soon to join the list.  Our support extends to improving curriculums and capacity building of its teachers, principals, and governing body members. This education programme aims to improve the early learning opportunities for some 800 children,” added Pickering.

“We provide all our beneficiary ECD centres with educational resources as well as the critical skills and training to ensure that the resources are used effectively,” concluded Pickering.

The participating Early Childhood Development Centres supported by Droogfontein Solar Power include communities in Kimberley, Barkly West, Ritchie and Riverton; these include: Goitlamela ECD, Hulahoop Preschool, Mateleng ECD, Holpan Day Care Centre, Waterworks Primary School, Galeshewe Educare Centre, St Boniface Preschool, El Shaddai ECD, Shalom Day Care Centre, Redirile Creche, Roodepan ECD, Sivuyile ECD Centre,  Lesedi Day Care Centre,  Helen Joseph Primary, Longlands ECD, Little Flower Educare, Leseding ECD Centre, Tlhokomelo Day Care Centre, Tlhalefang Day Care Centre, Mickey’s Kids Day Care.

20 September 2017