GrandWest general manager Mervyn Naidoo and The Reach Trust chief executive officer Andrew Rudge wih the volunteers for the Finding Thabo Project.
GrandWest general manager Mervyn Naidoo and The Reach Trust chief executive officer Andrew Rudge wih the volunteers for the Finding Thabo Project.

Finding Thabo project stimulates young minds with GrandWest

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Jul 28, 2021

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Cape Town - While GrandWest was closed under level 4 Covid-19 regulations, 10 of their staff members continued to do volunteer work with The Reach Trust in their early childhood development programme, The Finding Thabo project.

The staff members received online introductory training for the programme and will explain the programme to teachers, distribute material for the training, and collect relevant data from each centre they work in to evaluate the progress. In addition, GrandWest has donated R25 000 towards the project.

The Reach Trust chief executive officer, Andrew Rudge, said the project aimed to stimulate all young children, but especially those from under-resourced environments, through stimulating games, learning apps and other innovations.

“We worked with a range of education experts, including a team of psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists from The Learning Initiative, to develop a set of activities that could be easily implemented in any setting, where the caregiver (parent or teacher) may have little to no formal training,” said Rudge.

GrandWest general manager Mervyn Naidoo said: “We believe that every child has the right to high quality stimulation which, according to global research, provides the foundations for lifelong learning.”

GrandWest employee Luann Robertson said: “I believe the crèches and educare centres I sent my kids to played a major role in the foundation of their education. Here I have the opportunity to give back.”

The staff had so far identified the Ethembeni Educare Centre in Khayelitsha, Genesis Educare in Bridgetown and Kids on the Move Educare in Bonteheuwel to support through the project, said GrandWest spokesperson Chrissy Dyers.

Rudge said their aim was to democratise education and give all children access to high quality stimulation, but it was very difficult to reach every child without working in partnership with others.

“The employee volunteer programme that has been developed with Sun International is a brilliant example of how partnerships can create a win-win situation, where Sun staff help us with the distribution of pictures into communities, while their staff are able to give back to their communities,” said Rudge.

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Cape Argus

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