GDT’s Early Childhood Development project is growing by leaps and bounds. We were recently asked to assist with the new Waterloo, a township within eThekwini municipality in the North, Project which is an intervention programme in 14 preschools/sites in the area. This new project is also funded by the Sibaya Trust and implemented by the Domino Foundation, which is a NGO based in Durban and Cape Town and runs a number of community based programmes among which is an Early childhood /development programme in Waterloo township. The project’s primary objective is the provision of mentoring and training programmes to these selected sites to facilitate holistic ECD services and, by extension, contribute effectively to school readiness. To bolster this target, Gandhi Development Trust’s Izimpande Zobuntu– The roots of ubuntu – was included to underpin the general ECD programme training.
This curriculum intervention is designed to instil a core set of universal values – underpinned by Ubuntu – in children, by training the practitioner. The social impact is that children in these critical years are taught how to relate to others and the environment in nonviolent and respectful ways.
In the three years since our ECD project was commenced, the training has delivered significant results in terms of:
- Introducing values
- Training and skilling the practitioners
- Introducing active learning
- Promoting holistic learning and reinforcing through the parallel programmes: Food & Nutrition (including food gardens), Creative Arts and Physical Development
- Effecting participatory learning
- Encouraging whole site improvement