ECD practitioners who lost their lives during the pandemic remembered
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Cape Town - The South African Congress for Early Childhood Development (ECD) held a remembrance day this afternoon, in honour of ECD practitioners who lost their lives during the pandemic.
Provincial chairperson for South African Congress for ECD, Theodora Lutuli said that today was marked as remembrance day, to say that they have lost so many members of ECD.
She added that due to Covid-19 regulations, the organisation could not host memorials.
The organisation, which is involved in the advocacy, education and training of all practitioners within the ECD, said that they aimed to ensure that the needs of ECD practitioners are met and that their contribution to society is celebrated.
“We have lost so many heroes, family members and colleagues who have impacted immensely on our sector. We want to celebrate and commemorate their lives and contributions in a way that we could not do in the past few months due to restrictions.”
Lutuli said that besides the inability to celebrate or mourn ECD fallen heroes, the pandemic has created several challenges for the ECD which include financial loss and the closing down of ECD centres. It had been terrible, she said. She added that many families lost livelihoods, contributing to domestic violence and social illness.
Member of the congress and chairperson of Khayelitsha’s ECD forum, Thobeka Ratya, said that the significance of the memorial is important because of these people’s role in the ECD sector.
“We find it vital to commemorate them, and ensure that they aren't forgotten. During the past two years we could not do anything or pay our due respects to these fallen heroes, which is why we decided to do it now.”
Ratya said that going forward, the congress has plans to address the challenges facing the ECD sector, which includes assisting ECD centres that have been de-registered to re-register. She added that the government has tried to assist ECDs during the pandemic but said that there is room for improvement that requires support from all stakeholders involved.
Rene Bossinger is one of the fallen heroes commemorated today. Bossinger was a cook and cleaner at Rosies Angels, an ECD centre in Mitchells Plain. Alicia Davids, the centre’s principal, said that Rene will always be remembered for her kindness.
“She had a massive stroke and died suddenly. She was a huge asset to Rosies Angels, she was a huge contributor to staff, children and parents. She cooked for everyone and touched all of our hearts, we all miss her immensely.”