Kinders vir die Koning Day Care Centre
The Background
Casablanca and Sercor Park are two neighbouring areas near Gordon’s Bay. The community is plagued by unemployment, poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual and physical abuse, teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs.

The Reality
The children are the ones who suffer most as they are kept out of school to take care of their toddler siblings, while their mothers need to go to work. Exposure to these social problems leads to trauma and emotional scars and the parents do not have knowledge of normal development and stimulation. As a result, a lot of children have developmental deficiencies and learning disabilities. Their basic skills are developed later than expected and they are not ready for school when they turn six. Without the necessary stimulation this will lead to reading and learning problems and often serious behavioural problems. These children become adults with problems and the whole vicious cycle starts all over again …

The Solution

It became apparent that the greatest need in the community is for the care and development of the pre-school children. A small group of women from the Dutch Reformed Church in Gordon’s Bay have been trying to expose the children to developmental opportunities. Under the leadership of a retired lecturer, Lynette van Dellen, who selflessly worked all hours without any compensation, a pre-school playgroup was established. The group initially gathered two mornings a week at the only resource available in the Casablanca area – the Community Hall. During these informal sessions they engaged in various developmental activities and also received a healthy snack.

Let’s start at the very beginning …
In 2012 a container was donated to them and Cornelia Truter, a retired principal of a pre-primary school with the help of Lynette started running a Grade R class from there. With their valuable skills and experience they prepare the children to cope socially, emotionally, physically and perceptually in a formal learning situation. Although they can only accommodate 16 children, the surrounding schools mention that they can see a noticeable difference in the children who enter Grade 1.

Proud Partners becomes involved.
While the 6 year-old children were being taught in the container, the rest of the community’s toddlers came along and were running around on their own.

Proud Partners decided to establish a pre-school playgroup called Proud Pellies and appointed three ladies from the community to teach these children the pre-school skills they so desperately need, as well as pay their monthly salaries. The 80+ children between the ages of 3 and 6 are taught in the Community Hall four mornings a week.

Previously two elderly ladies had to cope with 65 toddlers [3-6 years] who did not know how to colour, cut, paste, learn rhymes, listen to stories, etc. ̶ skills that are taken for granted when they start school.

The teachers, Janine Bender and Chantal Smith, were young, vibrant and enthusiastic, while Fransien Isaacs was older, more mature and has had years of experience working with the children in her church.

They understood the children’s background and knew the parents at a level that an outsider could never do. They could teach games and songs from their culture and the children related much more closely to them than they did to people from different backgrounds.

The teachers are still a huge asset to the community and it is a joy to see the change in the children.

Proud Partners also asked Ronel Barkhuizen, who has been the headmistress of Welgemoed Pre-primary School for many years, to design an educational programme the kids can follow three mornings a week. The programme includes songs, movement and the development of basic preschool skills and can be downloaded by clicking here:  
Lynette van Dellen, who started it all
Download
Video
Click on the picture for a 2 minute presentational video.
New Classrooms
Although the informal Grade R class went from strength to strength, the circumstances under which the children were taught were far from ideal. The container is freezing cold in winter and muddy when it rains, while in summer the children sometimes have to sit outside because it is too hot to breathe inside the container.

In 2014 Proud Partners donated R17 000 to the Casablanca Project and joined hands with other donors. The funds were enough to pay for two new Nutec classrooms, which are big enough to house almost all the children.

In 2016 another 4 classrooms were aquired with the help of sponsors. It is a dream come true for the children as well as the women who have worked so hard to make a difference. Proud Partners will keep track of their progress and support them where necessary.   
Christmas 2014
The children are also given the opportunity to participate in an annual Christmas nativity play. It is one of their highlights where they are treated with snacks. Every child gets a special gift donated by the Consular Corps. The Consular Corps in Cape Town consists of 52 countries. At their anual Christmas lunch, each consulate donates a gift for these children, consisting of a variety of items, including nessesities like soap, tootbrushes, etc; as well as toys and sweets. Great fun was had by all!
Christmas 2015
In December 2015 Kids of The King had their annual Christmas concert in the Casablanca Community Hall. Proud Partners were there together with the parents, and a good time was had by all. The adorable kids put in a lot of effort with song and dance to tell the nativity story, and the result speaks for itself.

Click on this picture for a 6 minute video of the concert.
From left to right: Dr Elsa Verwey (Proud Partners), Wilmina Theunissen, Fransien Isaacs , Chantel Smith, Jenine Hendricksz and Isabel Verwey (Proud Partners)