Pre-school learners in Buffeljagsbaai have moved into a newly-renovated building which can now care for at least 20 children.
The children were originally schooled in a small space that was not registrable with the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape.
Now, with support from the community and a number of partners, including the Overstrand Municipality, I&J and Flower Valley’s Early Childhood Development Programme, the children can enjoy a large new classroom, a resource room, a newly-built kitchen, bathrooms and an office for the Centre’s Manager, Nicole Arendse. The centre, called Seesterretjies, is situated behind the Buffeljagsbaai Library.
The partners also planted a new lawn for children to play in and built a big sand pit area. The next step is to create a large shaded area.
The school is overseen and managed by Chairperson Amelda Groenewald and Manager Nicole Arendse. It currently cares for nine children from the community – with more children likely to join soon.
Partners involved in the project include the Overstrand Municipality, I&J, the Lighthouse to Lighthouse walkers, and a number of local businesses, including Gansbaai Spar and Build-It. Community members, including Amelda Groenewald, have been instrumental in ensuring a better service and greater opportunities for the residents of Buffeljagsbaai.
Aside from the donor support from the likes of I&J, the Lighthouse to Lighthouse hikers (who walk through Buffeljagsbaai on their annual hike) helped by painting the walls of the school. They also funded the grass, car port shading, and a tutoring course for a teacher.
Flower Valley’s ECD Programme continues to support the school to meet the required legal compliances. The teachers also receive support through the Milkwood Learning Programme – which provides training support to upskill these practitioners.
Kat Myburgh, Area Manager of the Gansbaai district says, “We will have leaders emerging from these class rooms, who will look back and say: I started by schooling here; I received my first formal education at this crèche. In my mind, there is no doubt about this. I know it.”
According to Overstrand Mayor, Dudley Coetzee, “With many hands and lots of love and enthusiasm, I&J Seesterretjies Crèche now provides an Early Childhood Development service to children under the tutelage of Amelda Groenewald, Nicole Arendse and their team.”