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04 April, 2023

From tiny seeds…

Royal Malewane

Affordable childcare is essential not just for kids, but for their parents, too. Knowing that their children are in a safe, nurturing environment during the day means that moms and dads can go to work, and help boost the family income.
Sigagule Crèche began life as a very basic facility in Sigagule village, close to Royal Malewane. It’s a great example of a community making things happen for themselves, but at the same time, their resources were limited.
The first iteration of the crèche had just one small classroom. Without running water, the bathroom facilities were very limited.
By supporting the crèche, we’re investing in the future of each of the young learners who attend it, and of the community as a whole. We’re confident that these children will grow up to be future leaders of families, businesses and villages, and giving them a helping hand at this stage will help them achieve their dreams in years to come.

Teaching the teachers

While the teachers at Sigagule had no lack of enthusiasm and empathy, they hadn’t previously had access to formal teacher training. We were able to sponsor them to improve their skills, alongside teachers from other rural pre-schools close to Royal Malewane.
This meant that the teachers could bring in a more structured early childhood development (ECD) curriculum, helping to prepare the learners for starting primary school.

The building blocks of future success

As well as increasing the ‘soft skills’ withing the crèche team, we wanted to improve the ‘hardware’ at Sigagule. Building extra classrooms, a kitchen and a dining hall has meant that more children can attend (benefitting more families) and that they enjoy a greater level of social interaction.
New toilet blocks were also a priority – these have helped improved hygiene for everyone at the crèche, and enhanced the children’s’ dignity.

Feeding hungry minds

Any teacher will tell you that even the brightest kids can’t focus when their tummies are empty, so we’ve also implemented a guaranteed meals scheme. Our latest addition to the crèche is the organic vegetable garden, for which we provided seedlings. The fruits of these labours will make the kids’ meals more nutritious, and also give them a hands-on lesson in how plants grow.
Adding extra fruit and vegetables to their meals means that the children are now getting more of the vitamins and nutrients they need, boosting their energy levels and capacity to absorb new information.
We were also able to provide mattresses for the kids to take afternoon naps on – in such a stimulating environment, very young children can become overwhelmed, and tired minds and bodies need to take the occasional break!

Making a difference

The Sigagule Crèche success story is a great example of what we can achieve as The Royal Portfolio Foundation when we work hand-in-hand with community partners to identify their needs, and find simple yet lasting solutions to challenges that might otherwise hold people back.
Donate to this ongoing project and make a real difference in these young lives.

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