The official opening ceremony of Bright Zondi’s crèche, Siyabaphephisa, in Molweni on Monday 31 July was a festive and poignant occasion. Siyabaphephisa Crèche, meaning ‘we are keeping children safe’ in isiZulu, caters for 35 children from babies to 4 years. Designed by Lead Architects, it is a unique cheerful welcoming space utilizing three brightly painted shipping containers for classrooms including an astroturf play area.

“This is a story of resilience and hope combined with the collaboration of donors and partners resulting in a one-of-a-kind learning space,” explained Tayla Blades, Donor Relations Officer at Focus on iThemba. “Bright Zondi’s original crèche has been operating in temporary facilities which were far from ideal. The team at Focus on iThemba were determined to make a difference and we have been overwhelmed by the support from our 13 donors and partners who have come together to create an exceptional facility which has far surpassed Bright’s dreams.”

 

With such a tremendous need for quality education for very young children and research highlighting the importance of learning and nutrition during a child’s first 1000 days it is rewarding to see the collaborative efforts from the donors. This project reached completion thanks to the generosity of; Container World, Belgotex floors, Trades@Work, GROW with EduCare, Dezzo Roofing, DAVGO Steel Construction, Northside Electrical, Nation Changers, Ed Weekly – Geotech Engineer, Cretemix, JOJO Tanks, FABRI TRIM and John Clarkson – Land Surveyor.

“This has been my wildest dream,” said Bright Zondi, businesswoman and crèche owner. “It’s beyond my expectation, my heart’s desire and ambition has been fulfilled. Thank God for this miracle, good things come to those who wait. The quote from Mandela ‘It seems impossible until it’s done’ is so true to me right now.”

 

The excited children sang songs and released eco-friendly balloons. In addition, the construction of the crèche was part of a training programme for Trades@Work and the apprentices received certificates for skills acquired.

Integral to the school is a theme of sustainability and entrepreneurship; water saving through JOJO tanks and the garden are two examples. Sandile Mnotho has planted a vegetable garden which will be utilized for lunches and the excess will be sold to the community. In addition, Focus on iThemba donated Moringa trees – well-known for their health properties.

“Potential partners for future ECD projects are encouraged to contact me on info@focusonithemba.org if they are able to assist,” concluded Blades.