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Vodacom Foundation

Early childhood development boosted by Vodacom donation

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Hundreds of pre-school learners in communities in Potchefstroom will benefit from a donation of nearly R400 000 by Vodacom to the biggest student-driven welfare organisation in the country.

The contribution will be used to support programmes in early childhood development (ECD) offered by the Students' Rag Community Services (SRCS) of the North-West University's Potchestroom campus.

Almost a third of the 63 projects currently being managed by the SRCS involve ECD, which focusses on school readiness activities, motoric stimulation, creativity, music and drama, and social well-being.

Several hundred learners in pre-schools in Ikageng and Promosa, the areas in which the SRCS is actively involved, will benefit from this support by Vodacom.

Mthobi Tyamzashe, Chairman of the Vodacom Foundation, says: "It is well documented that early childhood development is a crucial component of the learning cycle. We are confident that our contribution to this well-run, volunteer-driven programme will complement Vodacom's involvement in a broad spectrum of educational initiatives."

The donation will be used for a wide spectrum of activities and equipment related to the ECD programme, including training, workshops, a bursary for a Master's student, food for children, and infrastructure such as playgrounds and classroom furniture.

It will also contribute towards the activities at the various projects, which encompass creativity development, curriculum implementation, motoric skills development, educational play, educational posters, learning equipment, and curriculum textbooks.

According to the SRCS, most pre-schools in Ikageng and Promosa area, where the project is active, do not have access to resources or programmes that could sufficiently prepare learners for school.

One of the objectives this programme carries is to provide a guideline to help stimulate learners in their environment by teaching them basic skills and preparing them for school. There are also aspects where parents can help and support their children and be included in the learning process.

Although the SRCS is student-driven, every project leader receives training in socio-economic development and project management, and all projects are evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that the projects are effective.

This programme not only helps the development of pre-schoolers, it also enables the university's fourth year students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice.

The SRCS has been involved in the Potchefstroom community since 1981 and is the only registered non-profit organisation on the Potchefstroom campus of the North West University. Since its establishment, the organisation has grown considerably thanks to the enthusiasm of student members and the support from the community.

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