Education is one of the greatest needs for young children in South Africa. Educational provision is extremely patchy: excellent in some of the cities, very poor in others. Formal schooling is only enforced from 7 years old. In practise this means that some children from poorer backgrounds don’t get a great start in life. By 7 years old, they are already far behind, and it’s difficult to catch up.
As Cedarberg Africa’s South Africa Office is based in a rural area, we saw that farmworker’s children sometimes fell into this trap.
So, back in 2001, we set up Lemoenland pre-school for local children from 4 to 6 years old. The school has two classrooms with two properly qualified teachers and a teacher’s assistant. Every year there are about 50+ children. We follow the set pre-school curriculum with a weekly pattern of themes for the year. We also undertake regular funding drives to get extra money for school outings. These trips are a real eye-opener for the kids as many of them have never left the Cederberg! After 2-3 years at Lemoenland Pre School, the children start Grade 1 at school with a sound basis for further learning.
Catering for such as widespread rural community, the school has a school bus and a second vehicle to collect all the children from surrounding farms. Indeed the maintenance and petrol for the transport is a big cost for the school!
A new development in the last few years as that we now provide breakfast for the children and also a late morning meal as well. This is very helpful as some of them came to school without a proper meal and only had something to eat in the evenings. Some of the local farmers have contributed food to help with this provision of meals.
Watch our video below for a flavour of the school…
For every booking we make, we contribute a set amount to Lemoenland pre-school, so by booking with Cedarberg Africa, you are already contributing. However if you’d like to make an extra donation, that would be much appreciated! You can donate to the everyday running costs of the school, or you can ask for a donation to go towards our new project of school bursaries – see below.
Next Project: School Bursaries
Our next project is to sponsor some of the most able children to go to the best school in the district which charges a small fee. (State schools in South Africa are allowed to charge fees). At the moment, our funding goes to the school’s running costs.
The cost of one educational bursary to take a child from Grade 1 to Grade 12 is approx. £7,000 or $11,000. We pledge to match any money offered to this Bursary Fund 1 for 1. So if you contribute $500, we’ll match it. (We’ll also ask the parents of the child to contribute a small amount to the school fees so that they are aware of the value of the bursary, and take it seriously.)
Contact us if you’d like to donate something to either the school or to our new bursary fund.