An ecstatic principal, Mavis Dudula, and pupils enjoy the new playground at their newly revamped Forever Educare Centre. The Rotary Club of Claremont and the Lewis Group, through the Injongo Project, invested R 2.2 million in revitalising 
the centre. Picture: TRACEY ADAMS/African News Agency (ANA)
Tears swelled in the eyes of proud principal Mavis Dudula as her newly constructed Forever Educare Centre was unveiled in Samora Machel in Philippi East yesterday.

The former domestic worker began her crèche in a shack in 2010 after she was retrenched. It slowly grew as more parents brought.

Facing closure she approached the Philippi Educare Forum and was introduced to the Rotary Club of Claremont, who through the Injongo Project, with financial support from the Lewis Group, invested R2.2million in completely overhauling the Forever Educare Centre.

Dudula said it was difficult to find the words and keep back the tears after the new building was unveiled.

“I was retrenched and didn’t know what to do, but when I saw the children were playing in the street, I knew I had to do this.

“We began with just six children in a shack and now we have more than 60 who will now be taught in these beautiful classrooms, with a playground, garden and a new kitchen,” she said.

Construction began in November and two structures used on the property had to be demolished because of its dilapidated conditions.

Rotary Club president Liz Rose said over the past six years they had worked closely with the Philippi Educare Forum and with private sector partnership have built 14 early childhood development (ECD) centres in the Philippi, Browns Farm, area.

“Besides rebuilding, we trained and upskilled the principal and teachers, making Forever Educare a wonderful space that nurtures young children and gives them the best educational start possible.

“Rotary has raised funds for the Injongo Project, half through donations such as with Lewis and the other through our events such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour,” she said.

Forever Educare is the 14th ECD centre to be physically upgraded and the 58th to benefit from the Injongo Project, bringing the total amount invested to R18m and making the project one of the biggest of its kind in South Africa.

Philippi Educare Forum chairperson Nomsa Manxiwa-Soga said there were over 50 edu-centres and crèches that were part of the forum and many more that were yet to join.

Lewis Group chief executive Johan Enslin vowed the company would continue to partner with Rotary Club and pledged a further R1m over the next 12 months for the Injongo Project.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit http://claremontrotary.co.za/

[email protected]