Photo: Supplied / Rebecca Hearfield

Cape Town – You can take #ActionAgainstPoverty as an individual, a team or a company on Mandela Day, July 18, by investing in the next generation.

In the lead-up to Mandela Day, GROW with Educare Centres invites individuals and companies to partner with them and other Early Childhood Development centres (ECDs) in different capacities to bring about sustainable change in celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy.

When you invest in a child’s education, you invest in the future. Even the smallest contribution can impact the next generation.

GROW Educare Centres is a non-profit organisation which provides women living in low-income communities the opportunity to run excellent, private, fee-paying early learning centres that are also viable businesses using the principles of social enterprise and micro-franchising. 

“We represent 30 Educare Centres across under-resourced communities in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg; all of which are independently owned and working in partnership with us to achieve a 5* Star ECD rating. With your help this Mandela Day, we can make an even greater impact,” says GROW with Educare Centres chief executive Tracey Chambers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his 2019 State of the Nation address, said he wants to see all South African children receive at least two years of ECD before they begin Grade 1. 

Recognised globally as the most powerful investment in human capital that a country can make, this commitment to early education for our country’s children could radically change South Africa’s prospects for education and economic growth. 

The Nelson Mandela Foundation also recently announced that their strategy for the next 10 years of Mandela Day will focus on policy change, with ECD rightfully taking centre stage. 

ECD is a child’s crucial development phase between birth and when going to school. During this phase, children learn foundational cognitive abilities, attitudes, and skills in preparation for primary school and the rest of their life. 

GROW with Educare Centre's opportunities for Mandela Day 2019: 

1. Donate locally made and child-appropriate Book Dash books towards mini-libraries.

2. Donate outdoor play equipment or towards the labour costs of laying artificial grass at Grow ECD centres.

3. Donate educational toys and equipment to be used in GROW ECD centres. The supplier will match every donated item.

4. Volunteer your time to create a Sensory Board for an ECD Centre.

5. Adopt an ECD Centre through a two- to five-year partnership which will help them to reach  5* Star ECD level and run a sustainable business. 

These Mandela Day opportunities are based on a thorough needs assessment done by the GROW Educare Centres project. 

Participants can identify which specific centres or regions they want to support, plus all financial donations qualify for tax deductions and SED (Social Enterprise Development) or ED (Enterprise Development) points. Section 18A certificates are also supplied. 

Cape Times