On November 18, the Germany embassy officially opened the new modular training centre for Hamba Bamba Funda’s accredited Early Childhood Education (ECD) programme Dobsonville’s CTM store along Elias Motsoaledi Road.
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The Non-profit, which currently operates at Kliptown, advocates for ECD from birth through to two years through its uniquely developed SETA programme which focuses on babies’ development at an early age.
Monja Boonzaier, Founding Director of Hamba Bamba Funda (HBF) said the training centre is an important milestone in advancing their work to other parts of Soweto.
“I began my community work as part of a scholarship where I got to work with the Kliptown community day care centre where I worked with 27 babies and one care giver in the classroom however I fast realised I would not be able to do this by myself and started going into Soweto every Saturday and worked with the teachers.
“That’s how the idea started of wanting to start up my own training,” she recalls.
The programme which recently received its SETA accreditation two months ago focuses on giving stimulation and building a connection by teaching the mothers how to connect with their children through movement and touch.
“My idea was to develop a programme that is accessible to everybody. You don’t have to hold any qualification, but you just need to show up and be committed,” She said.
“The long term plan is to train these mothers to become trainers so they can host their own trainings and have it spread all over the country.
“The launch today means we get to continue our work in a safe space where we can offer conductive training have water, electricity and have it accessible to other people in the community.
“Kliptown is not easy to get to so I’m hoping having one here will reach more mothers,” she said, adding that this would ideally become a day care centre.
The programme has trained 20 mothers since 2021 and plans to offer its accredited training from March 2023 in which training will take place every Saturday.
According to Monja, the centre plans to run six hour training sessions over a period of seven months for the first group of mothers and their babies.
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While the organisation is not funded, Monja said she hoped that the programme would garner support from locals in order to carry out its SETA course. She further called on government action and the education department saying the work done by HBF “should be implemented in basic education.”
German Ambassador Andreas Peschke, who was joined by delegation members of the embassy, thanked HBF for its exceptional work in advancing children’s development.
He also thanked local artist Senzo Nhlapo for his art work outside the modular classroom.
“As it has already been mentioned, children’s development is very important. They are our future and that’s why we have to invest in them. One day these children will carry on the work,” said Peschke.
“It is wonderful and I really hope it will go a long way to improve the conditions and that is also why the German embassy will continue to support this project.
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“We also hope it will help carry out the important work by HBF and yield great results for this community.
He concluded by saying that the event marked a significant day in strengthening relations between the two countries and hoped that the two countries will work together in many areas focused on education and fight against Gender Based Violence.
The Germany Embassy awarded the organisation funds for the modular classroom after the NPO applied for its German micro project.
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