Shack to Chic

“Shack to Chic” programme

In the Mfuleni community, the Trust funds and supports the “Shack to Chic” programme. The shack schools are supported so that the schools comply with government regulations

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The Trust’s financial support has enabled the development and build of three ECD centres, the introduction of computer training at five schools, offering practical skills workshops to over 50 schools in Mfuleni and, most importantly, financially supporting a full-time field worker who has assisted five schools to become best practice through her mentoring, role playing and support. This programme has positively impacted over 150 teachers, 2 000 children and the broader local community.

The Trust has agreed to provide financial commitment to support the development and build of four new schools over the next three years.

Ikusasalethu – “Our Future”

The Trust funded the remodelling and infrastructure upgrade of Ikusasalethu EduCare centre. This was done as part of the “shack-to-chic” programme in partnership with Starting Chance.

Ikusasalethu – meaning “Our Future” in isiXhosa – first opened its doors to a small group of children in 2013. Princess, the principal of the school, started her journey by taking a child “whose parents were nowhere to be seen” into her home and becoming a foster mother.

Soon she had five foster children and she decided to sacrifice a part of her own home to start a little educare centre. The number of children grew and before she knew it, her own family were living in a dilapidated shack at the back of the property and the family home had become a school.

Since linking with Starting Chance, Princess has received the support she desperately needed to develop her skills as a teacher and principal, as well as the resources her school required to care for the children coming to her daily. The Trust has been the final link in this story ensuring that not only the school itself was upgraded to appropriate standards, but that Princess and her family now have a safe, warm, and inviting home to live in.

For more on this story go to here.

“The funding from HomeChoice opened the door for me to register the school as an ECD centre. The kids now have enough space to move freely and the teachers are able to plan age-appropriate activities.

My centre now has enough resources to make children ready for primary school.

I feel so honoured, cared for and respected and my school, Ikusasalethu, is now noticeable. Sometimes when I think about the great work HomeChoice does, I want to
cry but it is tears of joy!!”

Princess – Ikusasalethu principal

Ikusasalethu principal
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Rainbow development programme

The Trust supports the Rainbow Development programme (RDP) in partnership with True North. The programme utilises a colour-coded framework covering five key components from health and safety, building and premises, leadership and management, to active learning and parent engagement.

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The preschools are assessed on entering the programme and assigned a colour band. By the time the ECD facility has progressed through all the colour bands, they will be a safe, legal, profitable and self-sustaining facility, engaging the parent body and the community and mentoring other ECD facilities as they progress through their development journey.

Overcome Educare

Overcome ECD Centre is located on city-owned land in Overcome Heights informal settlement and is one of the EDC’s following the Rainbow Development programme.

The principal and owner, Christine Beukes, had been running the pre-school for almost a decade in a dilapidated informal structure.

The Trust, in partnership with True North, funded the rebuild of Overcome Educare. The build was a pioneering innovative strategy in many aspects. As a registered facility, Overcome Educare is the first ECD centre in an informal settlement to receive a 10-year lease agreement from the City of Cape Town. This was a major breakthrough. True North documented the key learnings of this process so that City of Cape Town officials, other non-profit organisations and other ECD centres within informal settlements could use this for future ECD developments.

Throughout this build and over the last couple of years, the Trust has been instrumental in providing True North not only with financial funding, but also with donations in-kind. Donations of homeware and linen are used in the running of the community support programmes and enabled the opening of True North’s very first community shop. A “community currency programme” was established, which beneficiaries of True North “earn” by attending training and implementing lessons. The beneficiaries can use the currency they have earned to select items from the shop which will benefit their ECD. Some items may also be sold to the local community to raise funds to cover operational costs of the shop and support the community currency programme.

“True North has had the privilege of working with The HomeChoice Development Trust for the past four years.

During this time, not only has the Trust given us financial support but they have always been interested in all our projects and our team. The Trust has been flexible and willing to listen to suggestions and redirection from us and reliable in their payment to us.

True North values the relationship with the Trust and we appreciate their ongoing support.”

Vicky Kumm – True North, Managing director

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Site Learning programme

The Trust was the first corporate to fund the “Site Learning” programme in the Atlantis and Worcester areas.

The programme includes training, capacity building as well as infrastructure upgrades in order for ECD facilities to comply with Government regulations.

Over the past four years the financial support from the Trust has enabled Grassroots to expand this programme to 66 ECD centres in Atlantis and 50 ECD centres in Worcester.

The programme has also provided training to 224 teachers, positively impacting the lives of 4 700 children under the age of six.


Emthonjeni: Play group outreach programme

In Monwabisi Park, Khayelitsha, very few children attend or receive early childhood development services.

The Trust, in partnership with Sikhula Sonke, piloted a playgroup outreach programme.

The Emthonjeni programme offers free ECD access to children whose parents can’t afford to send their children to school. The programme enables the children of Monwabisi Park to play and learn with facilitators while their caregivers and parents have the opportunity to participate in discussions, learn more about ECD and basic healthcare, and talk to counsellors.

There are currently 325 children under the age of six benefiting from this programme.

Garden Route area

Knysna Education Trust (KET) is the only organisation in the Garden Route area to focus exclusively on the upliftment of early childhood education.

The Trust recently developed a partnership with KET in February 2017 in order to expand its reach further than the Cape Town surrounds.

The Trust, through this programme with KET, provides financial support for a ECD practitioner skills development and capacity building programme and a bursary programme. Bursary funding has enabled six students in 2017 to complete their NQF level 4 and 5 teacher training studies.

Donations in-kind

Currently the Trust channels all non-ECD-related donations in-kind requests through the Community Chest.

The Community Chest assists with vetting and distribution of these donations to various other non-profit organisations and initiatives across the Western Cape.