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How to help children prepare for success in life
Church in the Bay - Media Release in the Herald: 25th October 2021
Prov 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is older, he will not depart from it! Back to News Index
We all want a better future for our children - and that means all children!
For many this goal raises a number of questions:
How is it possible?
How can we make a difference?
There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. But who are the people in this village?
Who are the community? Who will do it?
Are we just waiting for others or the government?
The answer could lie in supporting initiatives that are already on the ground.
There are many preschools in the township and rural areas that are working hard to give the little ones in their care a basic foundation, looking after them while their parents are working and just nurturing and loving them.
But most exist on minimal budgets. Parents cannot pay high fees, and there is no support from the municipality or government.
Society is paying the price for this neglect. Many studies have shown that our pass rates at school level will improve when we give children a preschool education that prepares them properly for the challenges of school.
So, whose responsibility is it to prepare pre-schoolers?
It is easy to expect government or the parents to do it.
But parents are not educators. They do not necessarily understand what a child needs to learn to become school ready or ready to learn.
This is where non profit organisations (NPOs) have stepped in to support the communities - again with limited resources.
They are walking the extra mile, giving their time and often do wonders with little funding.
This is where you can make a practical difference.
Here are some of the basic needs of township preschools need: food, basic preschool furniture, toys, pre-loved books, help with maintenance of their preschools and some financial donations.
We can make an even bigger difference by helping the preschools to help themselves.
There are some basic skills that they need. For example, how to cook healthy but affordable meals, how to budget, first aid etc.
Parents are not always able to pay their school fees, and it may be as little as R180 per month. So how must these preschools provide the basics?
One example is Isivuno Training that strives to make a difference!
It is an NPO that offers training and support to preschool teachers of under-privileged children from disadvantaged areas, especially to those who do not have a formal qualification but provide a service in homes or small preschools.
It has developed a set of custom-designed materials for the training.
The objective is to help the preschools to be sustainable by being able to help themselves.
That can happen through mentoring Isivuno provides, including follow-up mentoring of trained teachers when funding allows.
Imagine what it will be like if every church in Port Elizabeth adopts a preschool.
Imagine the impact on these children’s future.
Well, we have a choice - continue imagining or get involved!
Churches can also support NPOs through sharing skills, time and resources in addition to funds.
Many church members search for just such a place in which to be involved.
There is a model in the way Isivuno Training is supported by Harvest Christian Church.
It provides a venue for the training, as well as sometimes help with meals for the teachers during the week of training.
The Isivuno preschool teacher training is done in small groups of 10 teachers per training session, to ensure each teacher get maximum benefit from the training.
Most preschool classes have 20 or more children, so a single training course can impact up to 200 children.
If they train 100 teachers every year it means that 2 000 children’s lives are enriched – every year, for many years to come.
Isivuno teaches educators to follow a daily programme and use themes to present their lessons.
As we are Biblically based, we want the children to learn Godly values as we know when you “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is older, he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.
It is important to also have people’s dignity and self-worth in mind and when we help preschool owners and teachers to help themselves. In this way we achieve so much more than just imparting knowledge!
Isivuno does not believe in simply providing free handouts, so we require teachers to pay a nominal amount towards the training cost to show their commitment.
For this they receive five full days of training as well as four books, including detailed lesson plans for a whole year.
Paying is sacrificing and then we know they come for the training because they want to learn.
We inspire our teachers to do more, to make their own resources, to use recycled material and to realise they can do a lot with little.
Knowing how easy it is to make a difference, we can no longer point fingers and expect others to do it all.
The need is too big! Let us take hands and together raise up children!
Get involved with a preschool.
Support them with food or preloved books, stationery or toys.
Or support a teacher to attend training.
Businesses can even claim their investment in the community against tax. NPOs registered as Public Benefit Organisation provide their sponsors with a Section 18A tax exemption certificate allowing them to deduct donations from their taxable income.
Every small effort counts! Together we can make a difference!
Dr Sarie Snyders
Training Director, Isivuno Preschool Teacher Training
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