Zuzile loves her work because she knows that her influence on these children equips them with a strong basis to manage all challenges in life. Her biggest wish is that all infants can prosper in a safe environment to develop good skills and become independent young adults.
Originally known as ‘Little Rose’, Zuzile Duma established her crèche (situated in Tsakane, just outside Ladysmith) 12 years ago after coming into contact with Khulisa through our Make It Better (MIB) Youth Leadership Programme. It was during this time that she identified her passion for early childhood development following a community needs analysis and the subsequent development of a project to address such needs. The crèche was originally housed in a shack on the premises of a local ward councillor. It was solely through the support of the Khulisa Midlands team that she received assistance with toys, furniture, equipment and a nominal monthly stipend. After being evicted she moved from property to property until eventually a generous family member offered to build her the then known crèche as Masihlangane on their premises, but when the time came for them to build on this property, Zuzile had no choice but yet again to find another location for the crèche. The crèche was then moved to its current location in Sibisi Street, Tsakane. This property belongs to Zuzile’s mother, and she has obtained consent to run the crèche from these premises. Again, by partnering with her old ally, Khulisa in the Midlands, a solid structure has now been built on this property and despite extremely tough conditions she has now managed to grow her crèche from 15 to 47 children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. In the absence of any funding from government, due to administrative infrastructure limitations, to match government’s requirements, she does not receive any funding, with her sole source of income being R50-00 per child per month. Nevertheless she continues to serve the children of her community without ever losing hope. During 2014 Zuzile was one of the six nominees in Khulisa Midlands ‘Midlands Community Achievers Awards’. She managed to end up in the top three. Through interim fundraising events Khulisa secured Zuzile a prefab garden container to house the crèche had no choice but yet again to find another location for the crèche. The crèche’s founder, Zuzile Duma, first came into contact with Khulisa Midlands in 2003/4 when she applied to participate on the Khulisa MIB Leadership Programme. At this time, Zuzile had completed a Grade 10 and was unemployed. Despite this setback, Zuzile persevered and found another unused shack to continue her dream for a crèche in her area. This shack was on the property of a family staying in touch Khulisa Midlands, Zuzile was able to obtain a prefab container to house the crèche. However, over time this container deteriorated and the need for a sold structure became apparent. By partnering with her old ally Khulisa Midlands and other partners, a solid structure has now been built on this property. The Creche was started in 2004 in a container and continued to grow from there. In 2013, Khulisa Ladysmith built a new crèche classroom with funds that were raised by the office. Zuzile still don’t receive any government support due to administration limitations on government level and therefore she have to manage her crèche on a minimal school fee of an estimate of R50-00 per child per month.
Khulisa is passionate about Early Childhood Development. We understand how crucial this foundation phase is to allow children to prosper and become responsible members of a community in the future. We have designed several workshops that aim to assist parents and caregivers to offer guidance and support to their children.
Guided by research around cycles of crime and violence in South Africa, tackling issues around Early Childhood Development (ECD) remain critical to positive change. Khulisa Midlands has over the last 5 years expanded its ECD projects which has adopted the Social Transformation System methodology as a means of mapping positive change. This has included multiple partners from various sectors including, Departments of Social Development, Education and Health. It has also included close partnerships with other NGOs and corporate partners. This has resulted in a variety of programmatic and infrastructural interventions. This has included rolling-out Khulisa programmes aimed education, health, parenting, financial and administrative support.
To date, Khulisa Midlands has co-ordinated the building of 5 new creche buildings and toilets. Annually, Khulisa Midlands hosts the Community Achiever Awards which recognises the stalwarts of these projects. This event will be hosted this year on 02 December. Christmas boxes are also distributed annually, and in 2014 1,600 gift boxes were distributed. To date, Khulisa Midlands has delivered 3,800 Christmas boxes.
NPC/Cimpcor Project 2015
Lollypop crèche is situated in Osizweni, a township outside of Newcastle. The area has high rates of unemployment, poverty and crime. The creche currently supports 280 children between the ages of 0-6 years old. The creche also employs 12 permanent staff members. Despite its obvious infrastructural and financial limitations, the creche is full of happy smiles and positive learning.
Since May 2013 (as indicated by the above pie chart) the creche has actively used the Social Transformation Model methodology as a way of tracking progress, finding areas of success and identifying areas for urgent and important improvement. Through this process, which involves a variety of stakeholders, the creche’s infrastructure was identified as an area for urgent attention.
Based on a long-standing relationship with the creche, NPC/Cimpcor decided to invest R220 000 to build two new classrooms and bathrooms for the2 Grade R classes at the creche. The land was donated by a local resident. In time for a Mandela Day party on 18 July 2015, the Grade Rs moved into the new buildings.