High-quality and safe childcare enables parents to go to work, earn money and build a future. Additional care and education also offer children a sound basis for their own lives.
In brief, this is the reasoning behind the activities of the Mzamomhle Foundation (Xhosa for “good effort”). Mzamomhle works on behalf of childcare projects in townships in South Africa. The initiative dates back to a 2006 Habitat construction trip to build six houses in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, one of the townships near Cape Town.
During the trip, our team encountered a local, poorly-housed ‘backyard’ crèche, which went by the name of Mzamomhle. Together with the determined woman behind this crèche, we decided to create safe and decent premises. After all, houses alone are not enough on which to build a future.
As of 2010, the Foundation’s objective is to implement one childcare project a year in one of the townships around Cape Town. The most recent is Mfuleni ECD Centre, which was inaugurated in September 2010. It provides 180 children a day with safe surroundings, care, education and a hot meal, so that their parents can work and build an economic existence.
The aim is for each childcare project to become independent as quickly as possible, embedded in the local community in a financial, pedagogic and organisational sense. After a period of support, the idea is that the crèche is of sufficient quality to generate income from parental contributions and local subsidies. Finally, Mzamomhle Foundation encourages the development of other sources of income, such as tailoring services or a soup kitchen.
The Foundation is involved in a project financially, via loans and donations, and via pedagogic expertise for a limited number of years (3 to 4 years). The Kinderrijk childcare organisation in Amstelveen is a major partner in this: it is after all just as important that the children learn while playing. To achieve this, the Foundation works together with a number of local sustainable development organisations in South Africa’s Western Cape, which are anchored in the local township communities.
In the Netherlands, Mzamomhle has a growing group of “Friends of Mzamomhle”, who provide a major financial contribution to our activities.
Each year, the Foundation for the Friends of Mzamomhle organise a construction trip to a childcare project, during which participants spend a week working on the building alongside local builders. As donors, the friends do not just contribute financially to a project but get actively involved; indeed, the motto of Mzamomhle is “to go beyond giving”.