Ikamva Labantu

For nearly 50 years Ikamva Labantu has transformed the lives of people profoundly affected by injustice and poverty. The work of Ikamva Labantu has evolved over time to address the changing political, economic and health environment. With the deep humanity, resilience, love and spirit of "ubuntu" of its people, Ikamva Labantu supports, mobilises and empowers communities by building their capacity through knowledge and resources and enabling community members to live independent and fulfilled lives. Ikamva Labantu is a registered non-profit organisation whose approach is to work closely with the most vulnerable groups so they can become independent and thrive. Today, Ikamva Laban...
May 22, 2012

Kwakhanya Ealry Childhood Learning Centre launched

Kwakhanya Early Childhood Learning Centre exterior
Kwakhanya Early Childhood Learning Centre exterior

“Kwakhanya” means moving from darkness into the light……such an appropriate name for Ikamva Labantu’s new Early Childhood Learning Centre in Khayelitsha which officially opened its doors on 20 April 2012.

The centre is a training and resource facility that aims to enhance the early childhood development (ECD) knowledge of parents, caregivers and ECD practitioners (teachers) so that they can deliver the best loving care and education to our pre-school children.

Kwakhanya comprises a range of facilities including Training Rooms; a Model Pre-school with up to six demonstration classrooms; a Parent Centre; Offices and Utilities (e.g. kitchen).  The centre also has an indoor and outdoor play area.

In our Training Rooms, ECD practitioners will undergo accredited ECD training to enhance their knowledge and skills and build their classroom expertise. In addition, parents, caregivers and ECD practitioners will receive training from Ikamva Labantu staff and other partners on issues like children’s’ health, language and emotional development.

In our Model Pre-school, we have six classrooms for children from our local communities for the ages 0-2 years, 2-3 years and 3-5 years.  The classrooms will provide these children with best practice, age appropriate, loving and stimulating education.  The classes will also serve as an experiential training environment for teachers participating in the training programme, giving them a chance to put theoretical learning into practice.

The Parent Centre is a first of its kind. We recognise that real development can only happen when a child is well supported by its family.  Here families, caregivers and practitioners will be able to access information, assistance, referrals and knowledge about good parenting from professionals such as psychologists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.

Kwakhanya Early Childhood Learning Centre will also provide a welcoming venue for meetings, interactions and discussions for members of the community.

Our children are precious.  Getting the right start in life is as much about what children learn as about the caring and understanding of the families around them and the capacity of the teachers who guide them. We hope Kwakhanya will fulfill our dream to be a place where such care can be realised. 

Our precious children
Our precious children
Key note address by Patricia de Lile
Key note address by Patricia de Lile
Our trained teaching staff
Our trained teaching staff
One of the children at our Centre
One of the children at our Centre
One of the model classrooms
One of the model classrooms
One of the model classrooms
One of the model classrooms
Teachers taking part in experiential learning
Teachers taking part in experiential learning
Dec 13, 2011

Training and support in Langauge Development

One of the pre-schools supported by Ikamva Labantu
One of the pre-schools supported by Ikamva Labantu

Ikamva Labantu’s (IL) programmes reach 3 broad segments of the disadvantaged populations in the poverty-stricken Cape Town townships: carers and orphans and vulnerable children and youth; early childhood development (ECD) practitioners and pre-school children; and older persons.

Ikamva Labantu’s programmes are focused on three main areas: community health; community learning and development; and community resources. These programmes are interlinked to ensure that community leaders, teachers, parents, caregivers and families are empowered them to find and implement solutions, with our resources and guidance where necessary, enabling them to achieve independent and fulfilled lives, for themselves, and for those they help and care for.

This account provides an overview of some of the activities in the ECD sector where the donations received through Global Giving have made a major contribution.

  • Food security

Township pre-schools are mostly infomral and started by 'mamas' in their own homes. Until these pre-schools get registered with the Department of Social Development and start receiving government subsadies, these women struggle to cover the operational costs as the fees are minimal. In order to ensure that childrren receive adequate nutrition, Ikamva Labantu provides regular monthly food parcels to 125 pre-schools, reaching approximately 7 500 children. This Food Security programme is coupled with education and training focussing on promotion of optimal nutrition for children. The training cycle consists of nine sessions per trainee and topics covered include Menu planning, Nutrition and HIV and AIDS, Nutrition care, Micronutrient deficiencies, and infant and young child feeding.

  • Ikamva Labantu’s Language Programme

Ikamva Labantu’s Language programme continues to work within three areas: parent communication groups; language training in ECD schools and early identification and intervention of children with special educational needs.

  1. The parent communication group is receiving positive feedback from all participants who are engaged in improving the communication environment of their households. They are helped to understand their crucial role in the emotional development and learning potential of their children. The first 10-week training programme has been completed and a second programme will be completed by February 2012. Four community workers have been specially trained in parenting skills to support caregivers in their homes and at the pre-schools.
  2. The language training programme in the ECD centres has focused on five pilot workshops and accompanying practice sessions relating to the development of communication in children and the identification of children with learning disabilities. These workshops were presented in six ECD schools. Language packs have been developed to distribute to pre-schools which include posters, pamphlets and pictures.
  3. The early identification and intervention of children with special educational needs (SEN) programme has seen training in SEN given to IL teaching staff and six pre-schools, all community workers and at the forum for all ECD teachers and caregivers. Referral procedures have been established and there has been valuable networking with associated disability forums.

In February 2012, the first training cycle for 40 ECD teachers will commence at Ikamva Labantu's ECD Training and Resource Centre. The training will focus on infant care, language development and parent support and is based on experiential learning methodology.


Ikamva Labantu would like to thank you for your continued support of this programme which is making a true difference in lives of some of the world's most disadvantaged children by ensuring that they have a strong foundation for future learning and break-away from the vicious cycle of poverty.

Speech therapy at IL
Speech therapy at IL's best-practice site
Little eaters
Little eaters
Health screening at one of the pre-schools
Health screening at one of the pre-schools

Links:

Aug 16, 2011

Ikamva Labantu's Language Development Programme

Ikamva Labantu's Language Programme continues to run three projects, namely the parents project, the language training project and thirdly the early identification and intervention project.

The parent project has focused on a group of caregivers from the Masikhulisane Educare.  These caregivers were selected through the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Sector at Ikamva Labantu. The caregivers ranged in age between nineteen and seventy.  The participants were mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, foster mothers and aunts.  The focus of the group was directed towards changing the communicative environment of children through changing the experiences of caregivers.   The premise for this project centered in promoting both the understanding that parents and carers are the primary teachers in a child’s life and that parenting through engaged and empathetic communication  has a critical effect on the learning potential and emotional well-being of every child.

The Training program was offered to the staff at local pre-schools.  The educators took time from their lunch time to work with the speech therapist.  The course was six weeks in duration and covered speech, language and communicative development as well as developing skills in recognizing children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).  The emphasis of the course was practical. Experiential learning technique were used to ensure that the participants consolidated their understanding through ‘hands on’ work with the children. Therefore each session was divided between theory and practical work in the classroom. 

The third project concerns identifying children with disability through training the educators and community workers in pre-schools. These children need to be identified as early as possible if they are to receive the intervention required to improve their educational prospects. Research shows that this early identification and intervention in respect of SEN children is (i) essential within these pre-school years, and (ii) provides the best chance of educational success in the long term.  Half of all intellectual development potential is established by the age of seven. This means that when a child reaches school-going age, he or she has been largely ‘set up’ to succeed or fail in the classroom. For children with obstacles to learning—SEN children—the risk of failure is particularly

To achieve this goal, the project equips workers in the local community with the skills needed to recognize SEN children and to make quick and effective referrals to appropriate professionals in the departments of Education and Health.

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