Early Childhood Development [ECD] in South Africa is predominately a woman-dominated sector that is significantly under-resourced and under-capacitated. Barely receiving a minimum wage, they are responsible for providing ECD services in South African communities where [i]63% of young children live in poverty.
Despite the hardship they face, these resilient, unsung Heroes continue to provide a range of essential services to young children including early learning (stimulation), safety, nutritional support through daily meals and access to social services. They are responsible for helping nurture the early years of a child’s life when children acquire concepts, skills and attitudes that lay the foundation for lifelong learning.
The vulnerability of the ECD workforce was starkly exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which widened the gap and left them even more vulnerable, disadvantaged and often destitute. Without access to relief funds, these “heroes” faced tremendous challenges over the past year. The DO MORE FOUNDATION believes it is time we acknowledge them for the powerful, nation-building Heroes that they are and shine a light on the critical role they play in the lives of young children.
For Mandela Day 2021, the DO MORE FOUNDATION has launched a National Campaign to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by the ECD workforce in our communities. Jabu Mthembu-Dlamini, Lead of the Young Child Portfolio at the DO MORE FOUNDATION, explains “Madiba believed education to be the most powerful weapon to changes the world. What better time to celebrate these unsung Heroes who champion the education of young children than on Mandela Day”.
The DO MORE FOUNDATION is calling on individuals and businesses to come on board to celebrate these unsung heroes during their annual Mandela Day campaign in July 2021. Jabu says that there are a few ways that you can get involved:
Write in messages of hope to the ECD workforce. These messages will be shared directly with the principals and practitioners working in communities (visit domore.org.za to find out how)
Become a funding partner by making a monetary contribution towards the gratitude gift boxes that are being delivered to ECD practitioners and principals across South Africa.
Become a gifting partner by donating products or vouchers towards the gratitude boxes being delivered to ECD practitioners and principals across South Africa.
Become an awareness partner by downloading the awareness pack at domore.org.za and sharing messages across your social media channels.
For more information or to partner on this campaign, please contact Iris.Naidoo@domore.org.za or look out for communications on the DO MORE FOUNDATION’s social media platforms.