We have a house full of happy faces – as our Early Learning Centre opens its doors for 2017. It’s the first day of school, and this year we have 28 children joining us to learn more about themselves and about nature.
The Flower Valley Early Learning Centre offers children from the surrounding rural areas, as well as children from the towns of Gansbaai and Masakhane an opportunity to learn more about the environment. The centre is a member of the Eco-Schools Programme, thereby incorporating environmental education into the curriculum.
The centre also has a vegetable, herb and scent garden – where the children plant seeds and pick their veggies from. The centre recently completed a road safety track in the garden, teaching children how to be safe when walking beside public roads.
The practitioners, guided by principal Jimmona Schuurman, encourage recycling and up cycling at the facility, teaching practices that children can then take to their own homes.
During the first term, the centre will focus on environmental orientation, and encouraging children to know themselves and to explore different emotions. A number of outings have also been planned, including regular walks on Flower Valley Farm.
There’s a lot of resolve needed to meet the challenges faced by non-profit organisations. For us, it’s so gratifying when our work results in positive change.
Like seeing fynbos landscapes cared for by wonderful partners, or seeing young children connecting in new ways with nature.
So a very special thank you to all our donors, friends and supporters for all that you have done for us this year. We can’t take on this crucial work without your help.
A gift that truly gives
There are loads of ways for you to get involved in fynbos conservation. Like giving a gift to a friend or to family that will protect fynbos for a year. We’ve made it possible for you to Adopt a Hectare for someone else this Christmas – a gift that truly gives. Please check here for more.
We hope you have a beautiful festive season with family and friends. We’re looking forward to connecting with you in 2017.
The theme for the evening concert was: ‘Environmental education is the key to a better world’. This theme shone through the activities and songs that the 27 children acted out on stage.
Parents, guardians, teachers and friends of the Early Learning Centre joined the children in celebrating the start of the festive season, and the conclusion of a busy school year at our centre. The children sang songs such as ‘Heal the world’ and ‘All the beautiful creatures’ (from the movie, Rio), and performed a gumboot dance and a boys’ freestyle dance.
The young ones loved the experience of being on stage – dancing, clapping and singing under the bright lights. They also entertained the crowds with Christmas carols, joined by the parents and teachers.
At the end of the evening, Eyam May, Imivuyo Gugula and Verushka Vermeulen received their Grade R Diplomas. They’re all heading off to ‘big school’ from 2017.
Our Early Learning Centre on Flower Valley Farm provides an environmental education to children from the surrounding rural and peri-urban areas. The farm setting allows children to connect with nature – including the wonderful fynbos landscapes.
The ELC is based on Flower Valley Farm, near Gansbaai, and can accommodate a total of 28 children.
The ELC is one of the few schools in the Overberg that focuses heavily on environmental education. The centre is a participant in the national WESSA/WWF Eco-Schools Programme, which encourages environmental learning and continuous improvement. Children also have access to nature-learning, thanks to the centre’s location on Flower Valley Farm.
The ELC was created in 1999, when the Trust was first set up. It forms part of the broader Early Childhood Development Programme, coordinated by Flower Valley, which operates across the Overstrand area. The Trust has partnered with the Western Cape Department of Social Development and the Overstrand Municipality to support ECD in the district.
At the Early Learning Centre, highlights from the past year include theme days held at the centre, such as Heritage Day and World Ocean Day, regular outings (for example to the Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary) and other opportunities to make use of Mother Nature as a learning tool in everyday life.
To apply for the ELC for 2017, please contact our Principal, Jimmona Schuurman, firstname.lastname@example.org or (028) 388 0713.
Zandile’s soft character proves why she is the perfect candidate for being a teacher to small children.
After a long search for her purpose in life, she became a practitioner at Flower Valley’s Early Learning Centre. It’s then that she realised the youth was what she wanted to take care for.
Zandile is an Early Childhood Development practitioner on the Flower Valley Farm while still completing her diploma in education. She enjoys teaching children about the importance of nature whilst molding their minds before they head off to primary school.
One woman’s huge heart has been touching the lives of many young children whilst inspiring women in Masakhane to make a difference.
Dorah Sidukah has been an Early Childhood Development practitioner at the Good Hope Centre in a small township called Masakhane, Gansbaai, for a few years now. And her smile is infectious.
From her own experiences, Dorah understood the change that was needed in Masakhane, taking care of the children to improve their future. She became a practitioner at Good Hope, a centre that joined the Flower Valley Early Childhood Development Programme, to teach everyone around her about the importance of loving themselves.
In the small fishing community of Buffeljagsbaai, a young woman is changing the lives of pre-school children.
Nicole Arends is the Early Childhood Development practitioner at the only pre-school in Buffeljagsbaai, Seesterretjies – ensuring young children are cared for while their parents make a living off the ocean.
Today Nicole has a job helping others. But things weren’t always easy for her – and she had to overcome many challenges to get to where she is today, as a practitioner part of the Flower Valley Early Childhood Development Programme.
Here at Flower Valley Conservation Trust, we work with inspirational women. These are women who have not only worked hard to improve their own lives; but are actively making the lives of young children better through education.
Between 1 and 9 August, we bring you the stories of four such women. They are four Early Childhood Development Practitioners working in communities across the Gansbaai region, involved in the Flower Valley ECD Programme.
But we know so many women (and men) have amazing stories to tell.
Watch the stories of Nicole, Dorah, Sandiswa and Zandile. Let us know your comments on their stories.
And then share your own uplifting story – #ShareYourStory, to keep the inspiration flowing this Women’s Month.
Volunteers and staff helped make the lives of children better in the Strandveld region this Mandela Day. Teams got together at the Flower Valley Early Learning Centre, Seesterretjies in Buffeljagsbaai and two centres in Masakhane – all part of the Flower Valley Early Childhood Development Programme.
The individuals and companies gave their 67 minutes painting, gardening and making the environment safer for the children.
At Flower Valley’s centre, volunteers and staff worked in the centre’s veggie garden and painted garden walls. Last year, volunteers built a road safety track for the children for Mandela Day, to teach them about the rules of the road. This year, teams also built a bus stop at the track to support road safety education.
Volunteers joined the staff at Seesterretjies in Buffeljagsbaai, to paint the small building and make it even more colourful for the young children. Nearly 20 children from the small fishing community of Buffeljagsbaai attend the centre daily, under the watchful eye of principal Nicole Arends.
Later this month, teams from Taurus Cape Kelp will provide hands and resources, as part of their 67 minutes, to improve the playground for the children of the Good Hope and Takalane ECD Centres in Masakhane.
A huge thanks to all the companies and individuals who got involved this Mandela Day at the Flower Valley ECD Programme centres, including the team from Taurus Cape Kelp, Irma Groenewald, Tanya Vermeulen, Charles and Val Whitley, Lucas Nquruma, Thabo Nkumbi, Caster Sanda, Megan Wyness, Jennifer Bam and all the other volunteers – too many to mention.