PATRIZIA Child Care Western Cape, South Africa

PATRIZIA Child Care Western Cape was established as a follow-up project for PATRIZIA Child Care Grabouw. It stems from a close partnership with the Thembalitsha Foundation, which between 2013 and 2019 ran the Village of Hope, offering a place of refuge and healing for children and young people between the ages of two and 16.

„At the Educare Centres, children from educationally deprived backgrounds receive quality education in keeping with their current age.”

Janine Egger, steward of the PATRIZIA Child Care Western Cape, South Africa

Working in close cooperation with the local youth welfare office, children were offered loving care by ‘house mums’ who made sure they were well looked after. There was a social worker to deal with family therapy as part of a goal to reunite families.

In 2018 and 2019, child and youth services at the facility switched to mobile, off-site services. Since 2020, our local partner has continued providing its long-term and educationally beneficial services in other locations through three Educare Centres in the Western Cape region. These are called Agape, Graceland and Thembani. The focus at the three centres lies in nursery-level education.

Between them, they care for more than 140 children aged three to five. All live in extremely poor areas, with few community services to speak of and only very limited access to education. At the Educare Centres, the children receive the best possible support for their pre-school development. They also receive three meals a day.

The current pandemic has an impact on our facilities worldwide. As an immediate measure, we have established the CORONA FUND EDUCATION HEALTHCARE in the amount of €100,000 from our reserves. We use 100 per cent of this amount as immediate aid in our Children Centers. However, since there is a lack of help in all facilities worldwide and the need is constantly growing due to the Corona measures, we also offer you the opportunity to support us in continuing to provide access to education. Find out more!
Thanks to the relief fund, Corona Fund Education Healthcare, the PATRIZIA Foundation was able to provide support on three levels: food vouchers for the families of children at the centres; an operating allowance for facilities, so staff salaries could still be paid during closures; and the provision of learning materials for the children, so they could receive some form of education during the lockdown.
When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, all educational institutions throughout the country were closed. For the children at the Educare Centres, the closures also meant they had no access to meals previously served at the facilities, and as a result, their basic nutritional needs were no longer being met. Many of the parents of children who attend the Educare Centres are seasonal fruit pickers who have no income in the winter. The pandemic has left many of them unemployed and without any source of income, so they can no longer afford the school fees. Even staff at the Thembalitsha Foundation feared for their livelihood.

How specifically the coronavirus relief fund helps in South Africa

Thanks to monetary support provided by the relief fund, Corona Fund Education Healthcare, the Thembalitsha Foundation has been able to hand out food vouchers to the families of children during the months that the centres were closed. The PATRIZIA Foundation also helped the Educare Centres with top-ups on fixed costs so they could pay staff salaries despite the closures.

In addition, the coronavirus relief fund was able to pay for learning materials for the children to help them learn at home. To reach out to as many children as possible, materials were prepared for different age groups and provided in the children’s mother tongues.

The Educare Centres reopened their doors in early September 2020 under the government’s strict Covid-19 restrictions. The measures are supported by the PATRIZIA Foundation and they have made it possible for the children to receive an education again while still observing distancing requirements and hygiene rules.

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Our Project-Partner:

Ashlyn’s tale of happiness

Ashlyn’s tale of happiness began when, at the age of three, she was taken in by Graceland, the oldest of the three Educare Centres belonging to PATRIZIA Child Care Western Cape. At the centre, she was supported in her pre-school development. Her teacher at the time, Elizabeth Solomans, is now director of the facility. Ashlyn is now a grown-up herself and has become a teacher – at the very same school she attended as a child! She has been working at the centre for five years. The kids love her and it’s not hard to see how passionate she is about her everyday work.

Malia’s tale of happiness

Malia* first came to the Agape Educare Centre at PATRIZIA Child Care Western Cape when she was only ten months old. She was given loving attention at the centre and received support in her early childhood development until she entered primary school. She was always a quiet child but was considered self-confident by her classmates, always doing her schoolwork as expected and like all children, she loved to play. Playful learning is important at the centre. In Agape, the ability of children to learn in the first six years of life is promoted through a holistic method that places emphasis on children’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being.

In the meantime, Malia is in year two of a state-approved private elementary school, which is only possible because her father has set money aside for her schooling every month since she was born. Malia is happy at the school. She has made many friends and is delighted that she can learn something new every day. Her favourite subject is maths, but she also likes handwriting and games, especially netball and swimming. In fact she has already won prizes for her sporting pursuits, as well as an award for outstanding achievements in mathematics. Her dream is to be a paediatrician one day. She can’t wait to be in year four, because then she will finally have lessons on science topics.

*name changed