In 1992, Nomfaneleko Day Care Centre was founded by a group of mothers in the Lwandle community and a local church leader from Somerset West.
At that time, Lwandle was primarily an area for male migrant workers from the Eastern Cape but was transforming into a more family integrated community. Most of the accommodation consisted of the original hostels where the men had stayed. Children were new to the community and were playing in difficult conditions, without supervision, and they were vulnerable.
It was the desire of a local church to be socially and cross-culturally relevant at a crucial time in South Africa’s history. Supporting local mothers to establish a day-care centre presented itself as a meaningful way to do this.
Realising the dream of a day-care centre started with one woman who was already looking after children and then others joined. After two years of searching for premises, space was found in one half of an old dining hall in Lwandle and set up as a day care centre, where a safe environment was provided for 30 children. Working mothers could leave their children for a small fee knowing that they would be nurtured, nourished, and cared for.
In 2001 the name was changed to Emyezweni Nomfaneleko Preschool and Day Care Centre. The first Grade R classroom was launched, and we registered with the Department of Education.
“Emyezweni” is the isiXhosa word for “In the Garden.”
- a fruitful
place where things grow and flourish.
Over the next few years, our curriculum was continuously adapted and implemented by qualified preschool teachers, local assistant teachers, and international volunteers in line with the South African National Curriculum Framework. In 2016 our present Principal, Daniela Fredericks, was appointed. By that time we were taking care of 114 children in two Grade R, one Pre-Grade R, and one Toddler Class.
The Founders, Directors, and Staff of Emyezweni Preschool believe that South Africa’s social and economic wellbeing becomes more productive as the proportion of educated people increases, since educated people can more efficiently carry out tasks that require literacy and critical thinking. In this sense, early education is an investment in human capital, and in turn, the social and economic well-being of our country.
We strive to be a well-run, enabling organisation, where teachers and parents are continuously included in the development of our community-based preschool. All stakeholders from the Board of Directors, staff, parents, partners and donors are committed with this end in mind.