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Red Hill community receives new open-air facility for children to play and learn

Red Hill dancers at the opening of the new deck. Picture: Supplied

Red Hill dancers at the opening of the new deck. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 6, 2022

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Cape Town - The Red Hill informal settlement received a new Early Childhood Development (ECD) facility for use by the crèches and schools in the area. The new facility is an open-air timber deck which allows children to do fun activities in a safe space.

Red Hill is home to about 1 500 disadvantaged homes. Micato Safaris and its philanthropic arm, AmericaShare, have been involved in the community since 2018.

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“The project started with our library and community centre and what we quickly learnt from that was that we needed to find another space for the younger children. We got donations and put forward a plan to build infrastructure for an ECD centre.

“We wanted to provide facilities and supplies that the kids need, so that by the time the kids get to school, they are prepared for formal education,” said Chris Owen-Collett, general manager of Micato Safaris.

Fran Gebhardt, liaison for AmericaShare, said the facility would help to expand learning potential in the area.

“Most of the crèches are quite small and they do not have much space. Most of them are in shipping containers, including our two containers that we added to and upgraded the existing containers.

“Space within the library is not big, so we decided to expand and, with the City’s permission, we built the open-air timber deck that also is available to the existing ECD crèches in Red Hill,” she said.

Ethel Tshandu has worked at the Red Hill library since 2014 and currently works with all the crèches in the area. She believes the new facility will benefit the community greatly.

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“It will help the kids to learn more and gain confidence to start school. They are having fun while they are learning, which makes them happy and happiness brings out the best in young kids. They are the leaders of tomorrow,” she said.

The community has enjoyed the existing library for the past three years and the new facility provides additional space for the children to get fresh air.

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