If you’re wondering how you can make a difference this Mandela Day, then look no further because Starting Chance NPO, who has built six schools in Mfuleni and have given nearly 2 000 children a bright educational beginning, needs your support.
This organisation is extending its reach to build one of the country’s first-ever fully-inclusive early childhood campuses which will include a mainstream early childhood development (ECD) centre, a specialised school for disabled young people, a therapy and consulting space and a multi-purpose community area.
According to co-founder of Starting Chance, Ali Corbett, “The inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream society promotes equality and restores dignity and independence, and above all, improves their well-being.
“To achieve this for children in Mfuleni and surrounding areas, phase two of the campus project includes the building of a mainstream ECD for 180 plus children and inclusive spaces for the community as well as an observation classroom for training teachers,” Corbett says.
The campus will include a specialised school, Lonwabo Special Care Day Centre, which has been run by principal Thandeka Mafila since 2008. Mafila started her centre with just a few children in a room at the back of her house. She upskilled herself and her team with training and she earned her teaching diploma, a long-standing goal of hers.
“This campus will empower disabled children to meet, interact and play with other children. Some children from Lonwabo will also be able to move to the mainstream ECD after receiving the care and support they need from Thandeka and her team,” Corbett adds.
Your donations, big or small can help to bring this vision to life. Here’s how:
These donations will help to meet increased costs due to the impact of Covid-19 and to equip the two schools (Lonwabo, and another Mfuleni-based creche called Mzamomhle) which include nine classrooms, two kitchens, and two therapy rooms. “Please consider sponsoring a room or educational zone for a classroom to help us give our children the best possible starting chance in life,” Corbett says.
To learn more and donate, visit StartingChance.org.za.