Rainbow Kid's Crèche
The biggest weapon in the battle against poverty is surely education, and where better to start teaching important life values than at creche, in the first few important years of a child's life. For the last ten years Rainbow Kid's Crèche has focused on doing just that, but the little Smutsville Preschool could surely do with some assistance.
The crèche was a community project from the word go. Building materials were purchased with funding from the Independent Development Trust, and a committee of local folks assembled to get the structure built. The whole building process worked as an upliftment project. People were trained 'on the job' learning bricklaying and carpentry they even made their own bricks.
Run under the administration of Knysna's Child Welfare and with its own W.O. number, Rainbow Kids is managed by two determined women:- Ex Sedgefield Councillor Mavis Krwetshe and her friend and assistant Sina Jordaan. They are currently teaching 40 children from the Smutsville and Sizamile areas aged from 2 to 6 years old, and it's clear to see that they are doing so on a shoe-string budget. The kids' parents are only charged R50 per month yet the happy kids still get the true crèche experience, learning creativity, counting, playing and painting. They also get a meal every day. But even the R50 is too much for some of the parents to afford.
The school has enjoyed some financial assistance - funds raised by the NG Kerk paid for part of a perimeter wall and some maintenance to the building, and individuals such as Joyce Hampshire and Doritz Etzel have donated money, food and matressess, there's even some wonderfully bright curtains on the windows, kindly provided by Mrs Hartman - but there is so much more that needs doing it is heartbreaking.
The wall needs completing, the front gate is rusted and buckled, the roof needs repairing, some of the windows need glass and burglar bars, and the playground equipment is rather hazardous. Without garden tools, the schoolyard itself will need a 'make-over' to transform it from a dust bowl into a proper play area. Perhaps there are budding landscapers out there?
Inside the classroom one can see that the tireless teachers have made every effort to make the decor bright and interesting, but here too a bit of assistance could go a long way. Carpets, blankets, and toys, toys toys - educational or otherwise - are so desperately needed to make Rainbow Kids an even happier place of learning.
Ratepayers Chairperson Louise Hart has known and worked with Mavis for many years, and is determined to give as much assistance to the school as she can. "Education is so important, and starting them young is a real big plus!" she said.