ECD MAKING GIANT STRIDES


Rodney Waldeck, Chair of the Board of Directors (Topsy UK), on his most recent visit to Topsy SA in February 2018. Since 2014, when the ECD programme was launched, much progress has been made – an impressive Learning Resource Centre at Topsy’s hub in Grootvlei, better equipped pre-schools, thriving vegetable gardens and engaged and happy pre-schoolers. There is however still much to do!

In 2015:

1,380 children in 19 pre-schools and day centres and 1 stimulation centre for the disabled were included in the project.

There were 22 communal and some 70 individual vegetable gardens. These gardens provided fresh food for some 2,000 people.

Since 2015:

Education and Health

  • 29 pre-schools are now part of the project

  • 8 primary schools receiving either educational or nutritional support

  • All the pre-schools have access to the full set of education resources at the Topsy centre, with Topsy SA transporting 450 children to the centre every month

  • 35 staff at the pre-schools receive either formal or informal training every month, from trained Topsy SA staff and/or the partner ECD specialist NGO

  • The first set of Head Teachers will have completed their 3-year formal training scheme by April 2018 and, if all 18 pass, will attain a State recognised qualification – something that none of the Head Teachers had previously even considered taking!

  • 450 children every month are transported to Topsy’s clinic at the centre. All these children are included in the health screening process, with an average of 50 children p.m. receiving medical treatment for various conditions

  • Every month some 2,000 children participate in the ECD project.

Vegetable Gardens

People in the area establish and maintain them. Topsy SA provides seeds, garden tools and expert advice and support.

There are now:

  • 200 gardens maintained by individual households, providing fresh food for more than 600 people. This is double the number compared with 2015

  • 73 mainly school-linked communal gardens – a three-fold increase in two years

  • Every month 10000 people have fresh vegetables – 6 times more than in 2015!