The story of Good Hope (as told by Gabbi Cook)

Flower Valley Conservation Trust’s Gabbi Cook joined the Good Hope Early Learning Centre children and staff, the community and partners at the launch of the second phase of the centre on Friday, 12 July 2019.

 

HERE IS GABBI’S INTRODUCTORY TALK AT THE EVENT:

“The story of Good Hope started long before there was a Masakhane. It started when the great grandfathers and -mothers, grandfathers and -mothers and fathers and mothers of these children stood together toward equity and justice in South Africa. It is because of them and many others around the world that we can stand here now, in freedom and dignity. It is those people I firstly want to honour today.

Some facts:

• In 2017 there were 19.6 million children in South Africa with approximately 56.5 million people living in South Africa. That makes 35% children.
• 14% of these children are orphans.
• 21% do not live with their biological parents.
• 0.3% live in child only households.
• 65% live below the upper band poverty line where per capita income is below R1138,00 per month.
• 30% live in households where no adults are employed.

The story of Good Hope lives in the lives of the people who walked this road together: parents, teachers, the community, the municipality, NGOs such as Enlighten Education Trust and Flower Valley, many individuals and group organisations that made initial donations of funds and resources. 

This is a story of the heart, often when we see only with our head, things seems impossible. But when we look and see with our hearts, things become possible.  

Those of us that started Good Hope chose to see with our hearts… when I see with my heart I see: 

  • Children playing freely and safely, drinking fresh water that has found its way down through our pristine Fynbos landscapes toward the sea.
  • Neighbourhoods and towns where the only need for a fence is to keep the animals in. 
  • A world where the value of a grandmother’s song is more valuable than a basket of gold. 
  • A world where our stories speak of our interconnectivity and interbeing. 
  • A world where teachers and caregivers as masters of their “craft” and their powerful contribution is recognised. 
  • A world where the unfolding fullness of each individual is nurtured and we are all mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters to our children. 

Good Hope is a place where the heart can see a world like this starting to emerge. A place of unity, equity and care. This is our hope – our “good“ hope, active and alive in the service of these amazing women and contributors, in service to these young children.

In 2013 in the back streets of Masakhane. Lingiswa Nyandeni cared for 15 young children at her own shack based 3x 3 metre building, calling it Good Hope. It was here that Flower Valley and the Department of Social Development joined hands with Lingiswa and 6 other such centres to address the needs of young children in Masakhane. With the support of the Overstrand Municipality and extensive community consultation,  Good Hope was the only site that chose to move to a municipal building and join hands to get to where we are now. From here many individuals and organisations came together to realise the dream of a place for healthy, happy children to receive support to grow to their full potential.

A teacher of Good Hope once said to me: “These children and like my own children, I care for them as they are my own.” It is this spirit that brought us to phase two where in 2017 we joined hands with I-Med Vision, The Grootbos Foundation and in 2018 Aqunion, with continued support from the OSM. Building and growing a dream takes the combined effort of many. The challenges of our world cannot be met alone, we simple need to stand together, recognising that each and every contribution is equally valuable and important, and that ultimately we are not separate, but one people.  

This is a community-based school. It is the fruit of many people’s hard work and dedication, it is an expression of kindness and care but is also an expression of the intrinsic right of a young child to the best possible start in life.”  

Flower Valley Conservation Trust’s Gabbi Cook joined the Good Hope Early Learning Centre children and staff, the community and partners at the launch of the second phase of centre on Friday, 12 July 2019.

 

HERE IS GABBI’S INTRODUCTORY TALK AT THE EVENT:

“The story of Good Hope started long before there was a Masakhane. It started when the great grandfathers and -mothers , grandfathers and -mothers and fathers and mothers of these children stood together toward equity and justice in South Africa. It is because of them and many others around the world that we can stand here now, in freedom and dignity. It is those people I firstly want to honour today.

Some facts:

• In 2017 there where 19.6 million children in South Africa with approximately 56.5 million people living in South Africa. That makes 35% children.
• 14% of these children are orphans.
• 21% do not live with their biological parents.
• 0.3% live in child only households.
• 65% live below the upper band poverty line where per capita income is below R1138,00 per month.
• 30% live in households where no adults are employed.

The story of Good Hope lives in the lives of the people who walked this road together: parents, teachers, the community, the municipality, teachers, NGOs such as Enlighten Education Trust and Flower Valley and many individual and group organisations that made initial donations of funds and resources. 

This is a story of the heart, often when we see only with our head things seems impossible but when we look and see with our hearts , things become possible.  

Those of us that started Good Hope chose to see with our hearts… when I see with my heart I see: 

  • Children playing freely and safely, drinking fresh water that has found its way down through our pristine Fynbos landscapes toward the sea.
  • Neighbourhoods and towns where the only need for a fence is to keep the animals in. 
  • A world where the value of a grandmother’s song is more valuable than a basket of gold. 
  • A world where our stories speak of our interconnectivity and interbeing. 
  • A world where teachers and caregivers as masters of their “craft” and their powerful  contribution  is recognised. 
  • A world where the unfolding fullness of each individual is nurtured and we are all mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters to our children. 

Good Hope is a place where the heart can see a world like this starting to emerge. A place of unity equity and care. This is our hope – our “good “ hope, active and alive in the service of these amazing women and contributors,  in service to these young children.

In 2013 in the back streets of Masakhane. Lingiswa Nyandeni cared for 15 young children at her own shack based 3x 3 metre building, calling it Good Hope. It was here that Flower Valley and the Department of Social Development joined hands with Lingiswa and 6 other such centres to address the needs of young children in Masakhane. With the support of the Overstrand Municipality and extensive community consultation,  Good Hope was the only site that chose to move to a municipal building and join hands to get to where we are now. From here many individuals and organisations came together to realise the dream of a place for healthy, happy children to receive support to grow to their full potential.

A teacher of Good Hope once said to me: “These children and like my own children, I care for them as they are my own.” It is this spirit that brought us to phase two where in 2017 we joined hands with I-Med Vision, The Grootbos Foundation and in 2018 Aqunion, with continued support from the OSM. Building and growing a dream takes the combined effort of many. The challenges of our world cannot be met alone, we simple need to stand together, recognising that each and every contribution is equally valuable and important, and that ultimately we are not separate, but one people.  

This is a community-based school. It is the fruit of many people’s hard work and dedication, it is an expression of kindness and care but is also an expression of the intrinsic right of a young child to the best possible start in life.”