The Woza Moya Play School, funded by Gavin Harrison & the Hawaiian Sangha and Patricia Shafer of Mothering across Continents, opened in October 2009, with 40 local children aged 3-5 and 3 ECD practitioners. Local ECD experts from our neighbouring farming community, Linda Stone & Helen Hancock, volunteered to set up the Play School and train 3 local women from Chibini Village. Since then 50 children have been registered every year at the Woza Moya Play School. Our ECD facility now has 4 well trained, full time ECD Practitioners. The children follow a Daily Programme that responds to their interests in a holistic way, addressing social, cognitive, physical, linguistic and emotional development. For a child to grow and learn they must feel safe and happy. We are working towards the Woza Moya crèche becoming an ECD Centre of Excellence, to inspire and elevate Early Childhood Development in the Ufafa Valley Community.
ECD OUTREACH PROGRAMME
Many local crèches around the Ufafa Valley have sprung up over the years, usually with no or little support (from TREE), and teachers who have had no training. Our Woza Moya ECD team offers support and shares resources, when possible. Once a week the Woza Moya ECD Practitioners visit the outlying crèches which range from makeshift mud structures, without running water, electricity or sanitation, to one fairly well developed crèche in a community hall, supported by the Department of Social Development (DOSD)
Once a month our ECD team hosts an ECD Forum meeting at Woza Moya, transporting all the ECD Practitioners to our centre for a full day’s programme. This is a rich opportunity for all ECD practitioners to link and learn and share resources. Topics covered are in response to the needs of the outlying crèches.
Building capacity is an on-going and important part of the ECD programme.
Woza Moya currently supports x5 ECD Practitioners, x3 from Woza Moya and x2 from outlying crèches in Ufafa to attend NQF Level 4 Trainings, over a 2 year period, travelling every Saturday to Underberg. We are most grateful to partner NGO Family Literacy Project for subsidizing the costs of this training for Woza Moya.
Through the Family Literacy Project, we learned about the ‘Every Words Counts’ programme http://www.wordworks.org.za/category/training/every-word-counts/which aims to improve beliefs about the importance of play and stimulation. Targeting those who care and work with babies and young children, our Woza Moya trainer (Thembi) is teaching 3 groups: the Woza Moya Community Care Givers, all ECD teachers in Ufafa, Primary Care Givers or Guardians or Parents. Thembi has been introducing this new knowledge about early learning and sharing practical ideas for supporting the development of language, early literacy and maths concepts, from birth to 5 years of age. Click here to see our latest video about the Every Word Counts Training at Woza Moya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQma_MZwRsc
COMMUNITY-INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF CHILDHOOD ILLNESSES (C-IMCI)
EWC works hand-in-glove with the Community-Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (C-MICI) program for the 0-5 year age group. C-IMCI focusses on improving maternal child health care in the homes and crèches, emphasizing weighing of babies and children, immunisation and monitoring of health through health cards.
MEETINGS & PARTNERS
Parents/Guardians Meetings take place every quarter at Woza Moya where various matters arising are discussed. Having the parents involved is crucial to the development of their children. On-going education and encouragement is needed for community members to fully appreciate and value ECD.
Woza Moya partners with our local Lusiba Primary School, especially the Grade R teacher/s; this is where most of our children will progress to, in order to ease the transition from our crèche to a more formal environment.
When funds allow Woza Moya works with ECD Consultants in order to continue developing ECD in our Community.