Passion for Kids

ECD centers have been closed during lockdown while social entrepreneurs with staff lost income yet are still incurring maintenance costs and required to keep the ECD facilities orderly for future use. It is anticipated that they will reopen in September 2020 and sadly, children are missing out on qualitative development and stimulation that they normally enjoy when attending normal day care classes.

The ECD centers vary in size and structural dynamics, particularly operating within townships, find themselves in confined underdeveloped residential yards which in terms of the Child Act, 38 of 2005 may disqualify them for approval in funding and support by the Social Development Department.

In recognition of this gap between the operators and the government legislative standards and policy, Grace Macheke, a qualified Social Worker and veteran in the ECD space has lately teamed up with Patrick Shai, a veteran Actor, Social Activist and Film Director to produce a TV Reality Show termed “Passion for Kids.” It will mainly profile various ECD centers around Gauteng, with the aim to tell their stories and educate the public about the role, importance, regulatory requirements and challenges experienced by ECD centers. Other role players in the concept are team members Mmemme Mokale and veteran entertainer Dosto Noge.

The programme launch took place on Saturday 15th August 2020 at the Katleho ECD centre, in Evaton, a part of the Emfuleni Municipality.  The objective was to produce a parent to child educational television show with emphasis on Early Childhood Development. As part of its content, the show will focus on the four key components of child development namely; Physical Wellbeing, Health and Nourishment, Cognitive Development, Memory, Linguistic Development. Vocabulary and language reading and writing as well as the Socio-emotional development state of a child. The ability to work with others and perseverance to solving problems.

Patrick Shai related that “we can’t continue to bemoan Apartheid” for our current shortfalls of social developmental ills in our societies.  Thus, it is up to us now set correct standards of positive re-enforcement of the African child as a foundation to a brighter future.  The show will be presented by two male and female young presenters, targeting young parents and cultivating the culture of responsibility in parenting. They will profile nation building characteristics that are Proudly South African through collaborations between government, civil society and corporate business to mobilize resources that will benefit the children under the care of ECD centers.

The first six years of a child and qualitative inputs thereof are considered crucial by child development experts, ultimately presenting a fundamental development in an individual’s life journey towards adulthood. Through its public awareness campaign ‘Passion for Kids’ seeks to contribute as its vision to the establishment of a society in which children are nurtured to their best quality of life.

In conclusion, Shai reinforced the project’s mission statement by quoting words by the late President Nelson Mandela on the 10th of December 1993 that, “the children must, at last, play in the open veld, no longer tortured by the pangs of hunger or ravaged by the disease or threatened with the scourge of ignorance, molestation and abuse, and no longer required to engage in deeds who’s gravity exceeds the demands of their tender years.”

Dumi Mkhabela Soweto Sunrise News

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