Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development

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Sikhula Sonke

Making a Difference, One Child, One Woman, One Community at a time

Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development (Sikhula Sonke) is a community-based organisation with a mandate to meet the need for quality early childhood development interventions in Khayelitsha, South Africa.

In the 1980/90s, Khayelitsha’s communities were in turmoil and there was a dire need for proper housing, in addition to health and educational facilities.  In the early 1990s, Claremont Methodist Church responded to these needs, established its Social Impact Ministry and began building houses in the Harare Township of Khayelitsha. At this time the plight of young, unschooled and vulnerable children became apparent to members of the church who were working in the township, and Sikhula Sonke came into being with the specific purpose of addressing these needs. Sikhula Sonke is placed and remains focused on uplifting this community.

Khayelitsha has a huge number of children who are not accessing formal early childhood development (ECD) services due to factors including inadequate family income, difficulty in accessing child care (distance) and inadequate information and education regarding the importance of child development.

Sikhula Sonke’s primary reason for existence is to offer free ECD training and support to the parents, caregivers and pre-school teachers of young children in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa.

Sikhula Sonke’s programmes seek to meet the ECD needs of the child, the caregiver, the household and the community at large, and fully support the provincial government’s integrated ECD strategy.

Programme Description

Basic Assistant Teacher Training Programme in ECD: It covers the basics of ECD as well as a range of other relevant topics such as the daily programme, safety, nutrition and details of resources available within the community. Due to the large demand for this training, Sikhula Sonke runs two separate classes once a week, with approximately 60 ECD practitioners enrolled each year.

Coaching and Support Programme: To coach and support 60 ECD practitioners each year in meeting the minimum standards defined by the Department of Social Development in terms of five areas of intervention.

Family and Community Motivator Programme and cluster workshop: To support vulnerable children and vulnerable families by extending a supportive and capacity-building service to the caregivers and parents, to broaden their knowledge base on the development of children and access to supportive services, as well as increasing the families’ support-based network.

Emthonjeni Outreach Playgroup Programme: It focuses on the improvement of communal water points in the Monwabisi park area in order to make hygienic and convenient spaces to use for various different purposes, including ECD outreach programmes.

Funda Udlale Library Services Programme: This programme provides access to a collection of play materials including toys, games, puzzles, activities, educational aids and general play equipment for young children and it operates in the public library.

The above-mentioned programmes have been aligned with the integrated provincial ECD strategy:

  • To develop a range of quality, developmentally appropriate ECD programmes that promote their care, protection and development;
  • Offer comprehensive services to children that supports their health, nutrition social wellbeing;
  • Encourage ECD outreach programmes which build on strengths, traditions and resourcefulness of families and children;
  • Promote the development of healthy physical environment for children in ECD programmes;
  • Promote quality services through the implementation of norms and standards and on-going research;
  • Training ECD service provider’s as well as the parents and caregivers;
  • Develop and implement mechanisms for integration, coordination and inter-sectorial collaboration;
  • Promote the implementation of integrated management information systems;

Basic needs for the implementation of these programmes:

  • Toys for young children;
  • Gazebo to protect young children from sunlight in Sikhula Sonke’s ECD outreach programmes;
  • Computers (laptops or tablets for fieldworkers for senior and junior staff reporting);
  • Chairs for Sikhula Sonke’s training centres for ECD teacher training;
  • Small dishes and cutlery for young children;
  • DVD Player and TV for young children;
  • Stove and Refrigerator for young children.

Sikhula Sonke is run by a group of professional board members.

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