“Our Upper Highway community is the heart of the ‘Project Joy’ story,” explained Tayla Blades, Donor Relations Manager at Focus on iThemba. “Investing in early childhood education is the foundation for economic prosperity, and through the warm-hearted support of friends and donors we will be able to make a significant change to nearly 50 children’s lives at Entokozweni Crèche and for many more children going forward.”

Entokozweni means ‘Abundant Joy’ in isiZulu however the current crèche set-up poses challenges. The crèche, located just 5 minutes from Cotswold Downs Estate, is in an existing church building which is cramped, dark and has poor ventilation. The teachers are required to pack up the school every Friday and set up again on Monday so the church can function over the weekends.

“My dream is to see our school in a suitable building with a proper structure and with facilities to develop a child holistically,” said Mrs Bonisiwe Gwala, Principal and Owner.

Partnering with Cotswold Downs Estate, Container World, Bidvest and Belgotex the team at Focus on iThemba are currently fundraising to improve the facilities at Entokozweni Crèche, one of the crèches iThemba partners with. The goal is to fundraise a further R300 000 to improve the structure by installing recycled shipping container classrooms as per the successful ‘Project Bright’ model.

“These little ones will soon take their first excited steps inside a bright new crèche where their learning path will be boosted. A crèche where they can thrive and where the teachers can be proud to call this their place of work,” said Blades.