When the national lockdown was first announced in March 2020, few could have foreseen the huge impact it would have on families and the development of young children.
The Flower Valley Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme team has provided ongoing support since 2012 in the form of a home-based child stimulation, parent support and a referral programme to families with pregnant mothers and children 0 – 4 years of age. This take place in Eluxolweni, a small Pearly Beach neighbourhood and Baardskeerdersbos, a farming community.
When ECD centres closed their doors as a result of lockdown, our ECD Programme’s regular home-based visits came to a standstill. At the same time, many parents experienced a loss of income, which resulted in the nutritional needs of children being severely compromised.
It became clear that the needs on the ground and our ability to meet them had shifted at this time, and so the Feed a Child Project was launched. Here we aimed to contribute to feeding 87 children and their families, and supporting play through stimulation packs.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein.
According to Kieran Whitley, who coordinated our Feed a Child relief efforts: “The response we received to our call for donations, was heartwarming and enabled us to meet the overwhelming need in these communities.” Organisations, companies and individuals – both local and from abroad – supported on-going balanced nutrition and play-based stimulation during the months of April, May, June and July.
Through their help, the Flower Valley ECD team could:
- Support 97 families in Eluxolweni and Baardskeerdersbos
- Provide 508 food parcels (this will come to 682 by end July)
- Provide 444 play packs (by end of July this will come to 618)
- Buy 157 units of baby formula for babies under 6 months
- Supply Bumbles Baby Food for babies over 6 months
- And supply baby clothes to infants.
We are thankful to everyone who answered the call to help us support balanced nutrition and play – two essential developmental needs of young children.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to:
- D Nwayo
- Ingrid Hemisi
- Colleen & Jeremy Chennels
- Rudolf Schutte
- Skyview Distribution
- Louise Corbet
- GAJ Williams
- Cecile Antonie
- Steve Trimby
- Olivia Grainger
What we’ve learnt over these past months:
Many have experienced great loss since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. And to these people, we offer our condolences. Our challenges aren’t over yet. But we draw strength in knowing that this time has given us an opportunity to grow and stand together and support one another.
Kieran says, “In delivering this service, we have developed deeper insights into the individuals and families we work with, built new relationships and strengthened old ones. We are deeply grateful for all the help we received. And we know that this time has further equipped us to be of service to the young children and families of the Overstrand.”
(Our thanks also to our ECD team, in particular to Kieran Whitley for driving this Feed a Child Project.)
Flower Valley Conservation Trust
Early Childhood Development
Good quality early childhood development is vital for the social and intellectual wellbeing of our children, allowing them to create a better future for themselves.