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A chilly Saturday morning of 16 May in Braamfischerville, came as a relief for parents of the Sakhithemba Day Care children as they arrived early to queue for food parcels. The principal, Melody Radebe mentioned that she got a call from the Lunchbox Fund, asking her how they were coping during the lockdown. The status quo of having many people staying home to comply with lockdown regulation by not going to work and having no income for food supplies prompted the organisation to send the 67 food packages to the creche according to the number of children registered.
Assisted by her ECD teachers, they handed out boxes containing groceries to delighted recipients. With the social distancing and sanitizing practice observed as one could see the by the brightened eyes the smiles behind the masks as they matched the names on the record list. Parents jointly sang praises to the Principal who takes care of the community members as much as she takes care of the children at the day care.
One parent Mashudu Magadani a Bookkeeper working from home related that, “I appreciate the efforts from the principal, making a difference to people’s lives. I take care of my child who should be at creche, but we understand the situation with regards the pandemic, and if we fight together collectively, we can overcome!” Another parent Mitchlight Nhamo said that she was content as the children, when at home they just want to eat up. Makgabo Manamela, a CWP worker and her partner who is a construction worker mentioned that they felt the pinch as they didn’t know where the next meal would come from. “We are joyful and proud of our principal, and also grateful to her for keeping us in her thoughts.
Like many ECD centres, Ma’am Melody has lamented of the no income predicament she finds herself in with her dedicated staff, who also salvaged the remaining parcels.
Jerry Sokhupe Soweto Sunrise News