The Management Team of the CMR office in Piet Retief visited some of the projects, under the auspices of the office, on 4 November 2015.
The group travelled from centre to centre with the Khayelihle Service Centre’s mini-bus which was kindly lent to them. CMR social worker, Ms V Fouche, gave a short explanation of the CMR’s involvement with each specific project while visiting same. The first centre visited was the Entokozweni Early Learning Centre where the management team was welcomed by the principal, Ms Lydia Malimela. She gave a short history about the founding of the centre and the CMR’s help to achieve their goals as a centre. Entokozweni is one of the biggest ECD programmes in Mpumalanga with 210 children aged 0-6 years and 13 staff members. The management was shown around the centre with its beautiful kitchen, classrooms, toilets, sickbays and store rooms. There are also verandas where the children sit and play when it is very hot or raining and lovely wooden outdoor equipment where the children can play. They have just completed the paving of their yard and healthy vegetables beautify their garden.
The second stop was at Bhekulwazi Day Care Centre where Ms Fikile Mhlanga, the principal, welcomed the visitors who were again showed around. A new kitchen and storeroom have just been built. They have toilets, a garden with lovely fresh vegetables and the yard is beautifully clean, but there is definitely a need for new playground equipment. The centre has seven staff members who take care of 90 children aged 2-6 years. The next visit was paid to the Khayelihle Service Centre, a luncheon club for older persons. Here 52 members as well as 20 old and frail home based members meet to do handwork and socialise five days per week, from 09:00 to 14:30. At the centre they are also safe from any abuse that they might be prone to while their children are at work.
Mrs Gladys Mota, the chairperson welcomed all and thanked the CMR (Piet Retief) for their continuous support and for monitoring their project. Here a small kitchen, small office, the hall where they meet and a small garden were seen. They have been asking, and are hoping for, a site where they can build their own centre because the currently used place belongs to the municipality. The last place visited was the Retiefville Combined After School Centre where the group was welcomed by a committee member, Ms Happy Madonsela. This is a well-built centre under the auspices of the CMR (Piet Retief), started by the CMR after it had been observed that a number of children were abused in the afternoon while parents were at work. Therefore the idea of an afterschool centre where children are provided with lunch and helped with their schoolwork while parents are still at work, realised.
There are four classrooms, an office, kitchen, storeroom toilets and a computer lab which still needs some computers. The centre has been upgraded to be a drop-in centre which means they now provide breakfast before school and lunch after school. They also provide food parcels to the orphans and do home visits. The trip ended with a farewell function as the CMR social worker, Mrs Fouche, has resigned. The function was quite a surprise for her. It was difficult saying goodbye to someone who served so well in the office and who was like a family member. The management thanked her for her hard work and commitment to her work and wished her a bright future. Snacks were then served.