With the aim to develop South Africa’s next generation, the Shoprite Group has taken steps to develop Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners around the country while also providing nutritional meals for hungry pupils over the next 12 months.
More than 300 pupils have benefited from this initiative in Wattville. In addition to the feeding scheme, valuable training for teachers and administrators has been conducted while new toilets have been installed in the schools, including much-needed toilets catering for disabled pupils.
The teachers from all five schools received training on the educational and developmental needs of preschool children as well as the administrative roles and responsibilities of ECD practitioners, while the 300 pupils attending these schools are all guaranteed a nutritious daily meal for the next 12 months.
“From teaching programs and educational resources for our staff by the Early Care Foundation, the feeding program via the Lunchbox Fund to providing new preschool toilets through Newkidz, Checkers has helped us grow and develop in all the necessary areas to become a recognised and high standard ECD facility,” explains Leigh Hudson-Ingle, founder of Urban Comet.
Urban Comen, an early childhood development centre (ECDs) in Plantation, Boksburg, has benefitted from the supermarket chain’s extensive support together with Wattville schools Tholulwazi Preschool, Thamboville Daycare, Humble Little Achievers and Seronhla Daycare.
The toilets at Urban Comet includes a separate facility for disabled learners.
“The extra bathroom for children with disabilities creates the perfect inclusionary environment, which is extremely important. Having similar toilet facilities for able-bodied and disabled learners helps them understand that all children must be accommodated.”
“Within a year of its launch, this initiative that seeks to empower the women at the head of ECDs has seen 54 schools and more than 3 700 children across South Africa benefiting from it. Partnerships like these are one of the ways Checkers acts for change in the communities where we trade,” says Lunga Schoeman, CSI spokesperson for the Shoprite Group.
With the retailer’s support, all five schools are now well on their way to being registered with the Department of Social Development, which means that in time they will each receive state subsidies for their learners.