Early Childhood Development [ECD] in South Africa is predominately a woman-dominated sector that is significantly under-resourced and under-capacitated. Barely receiving a minimum wage, they are responsible for providing ECD services in South African communities where 63% of young children live in poverty. Despite the hardship they face, these resilient, unsung Heroes continue to provide a range of essential services to young children including early learning (stimulation), safety, nutritional support through daily meals and access to social services. They are responsible for helping nurture the early years of a child’s life when children acquire concepts, skills and attitudes that lay the foundation for lifelong learning.
Our Mandela Day 2021 campaign focused on acknowledging the ECD workforce for the powerful, nation-building Heroes that they are and shine a light on the critical role they play in the lives of young children. During the weeks leading up to Mandela Day, the DO MORE FOUNDATION and it’s partners assembled and delivered 1,020 gratitude boxes and messages of hope to 1,020 ECD practitioners, principals, and playgroup facilitators serving young children at 305 ECD programmes in the community of Pongola, Hammarsdale, Nkomazi (Mpumalanga) and Worcester (WC).
We were also fortunate enough to have partners join us in sharing awareness messaging around the important role that these heroes play. These awareness messages were personalized for partners digital platforms and shared widely amongst their networks.