Building Successful Partnerships: PEP Stores and DO MORE's Commitment to Early Learning and Sustainable Development That Benefits Young Children.

Building Successful Partnerships: PEP Stores and DO MORE's Commitment to Early Learning and Sustainable Development That Benefits Young Children.

29 Jun 2023


The enduring partnership between DO MORE FOUNDATION and PEP serves as a shining example of the importance of shared vision and aligned values in fostering successful collaborations. With an impressive footprint of more than 2,600 stores, PEP is Africa’s largest single brand retailer and has been operating for 58 years. Through its flagship social investment initiative, the PEP Academy, it has made a remarkable impact on underprivileged learners by inspiring learning, giving hope and making a positive difference in the lives of the youth.

Recognising the importance of education and early learning, PEP has played a pivotal role in the Foundation's endeavours in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu Natal. One such initiative, the ECD Principal Computer Training, was launched in March 2023, empowering and upskilling 50 ECD centres and their staff by providing them with access to relevant resources and information. This comprehensive training enhances their ability to support children's learning and development, enabling them to create optimal learning environments.

The ECD Business Skills Training program, initiated in November 2022, focuses on equipping ECD staff with essential business skills to effectively manage their ECD centres. By fostering the development of these skills, the program contributes to the overall effectiveness and sustainability of ECD centres, ensuring that young children receive the best possible care and educational foundation.

It is worth noting that ECD centres face challenges in accessing the government subsidy of R17 per child per day until they are fully registered with the Department of Basic Education (DBE). Unfortunately, the registration process is lengthy and arduous. Given the demanding nature of these requirements and the limited resources of underprivileged ECD centres, PEP has stepped in to make things easier for some of the centres it serves by providing infrastructure grants. These grants assist in meeting certain registration requirements, such as acquiring fire extinguishers and first aid kits, empowering the centres to make essential upgrades and moving closer to registering with the DBE.

“Do More Play” another notable program supported by PEP, equips differently-abled youth with skills to transform waste wood into wooden toys. Through this program, PEP supports the cognitive development of 4,000 children by donating these early learning development toy kits to young children. These durable wooden toys have various cognitive development outcomes which enable children to play and learn. These wooden toys, have a lasting impact on children's development while promoting learning and creativity.

The Repurpose for Purpose (R4P) program, also supported by PEP focuses on creating learning materials, including children's storyboards and educational board games, from waste materials. These resources are then distributed free of charge to under-resourced ECD centres. To ensure maximum benefit, we collaborate with distribution partners and provide training with the R4P playbooks and e-learning materials, equipping facilitators with the knowledge and capacity to utilise these resources effectively.

Many children attending under-resourced centres come from homes affected by hunger. Consequently, their daily nutritional needs often go unmet. In response, PEP ensures that these children receive a daily meal of DO MORE porridge during school days. This equates to 49,000 meals annually. This specially formulated porridge addresses the nutritional requirements of young children. Moreover, PEP has empowered 50 ECD centres to establish food gardens within their premises. This initiative not only provides an additional meal for the children at school but also promotes sustainable food production, imparts valuable skills, and fosters self-reliance among the centres.

Internal Communications Manager at Pep Stores, Suzanne Coetzee, said: “As a retailer with heart, we love to give back to communities in ways that have a positive lasting impact. PEP understands the importance of education and remain committed to finding new ways of encouraging learning, giving hope, and making a positive difference. Our efforts are always supported by our purpose of making it possible for everyone to look and feel good. We are so happy and grateful to be part of these amazing initiatives. Partnering with the DO MORE FOUNDATION has been an incredible journey thus far and it has just broadened our reach to make an even bigger difference in the lives of South Africa’s children. Together we can do so much more.”

These remarkable initiatives undertaken by PEP and DO MORE demonstrate their commitment to addressing broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Alleviating Hunger (SDG 1), Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Responsible Consumption (SDG 12), and Collaborative Partnerships (SDG 17). By actively working towards these goals, PEP and DO MORE exemplify the power of meaningful partnerships in driving positive change and creating better tomorrows for young children.