Cape Town - Heart 104.9 FM visited Robin Hood Crèche in Elsies River as part of the radio station’s 16 Days for Youth initiative.
The centre was established after founder Gilbert Thomas saw a need for a safe space for young children in the area. It has been serving the community for 40 years.
The radio station approached the crèche with the purpose of telling its story and sharing the vision of those individuals who strive for change in their communities.
Thomas has helped to open centres in Elsies River since 1950, but has had difficulty with lack of funds.
He said the crèche would hold “bioscope” screenings every Sunday to raise funds.
Founder of Elsies River Social Welfare Association and administrator of Robin Hood Crèche, Jacob Swartz, said: “Many of the children’s parents at the centre are factory workers and have a low level of income. To help these parents, an educare centre in Elsies River is essential because this space allows parents to go to work and earn an income.”
Swartz said there was a lot of gangsterism and crime in some areas around Elsies River, which mainly affected children.
“Young children are being targeted to take part in certain crimes. Therefore, this educare centre allows these vulnerable children to utilise this place and stay off the streets.”
The funding from Heart FM will go towards providing a jungle gym, fixing a collapsed fence in a high-risk area, fixing the playground equipment, new furniture and painting.
GrandWest donated a new stove and fridge and the residents and children were provided with hot meals throughout the day.
Heart FM programme manager Denver Apollus said the Crèche was chosen as one a beneficiary because of its history.
“We approach people who take a keen interest in children, and coming here we were able to tell their stories and help with some changes. The community is poor and children’s centres like these bear the brunt when parents can’t pay fees.
Change is heard but it’s change that allows us to constantly learn and grow. This gives us empathy and that fills us with hope. We love you Elsie’s River, may we continue to fight for our youth, they are our future ♥️#16daysforyouth pic.twitter.com/8Idi6jgV9G— Heart FM (@Heart1049FM) June 13, 2019