Our Thembanathi project is seeking support to provide much-needed early childhood education and care for 60 children in need in an area of rural South Africa devastated by both the HIV epidemic and by the longstanding effects of segregation, poverty, and unemployment. The program will provide critical educational and emotional support, nutritious food and other essential services to young children, and will also provide support to older children and families through community-based programs.
In the region where our projects are based in South Africa, children and families are faced by both the longstanding effects of racialized inequality and poverty and one of the highest documented HIV rates in the world. In these circumstances, children need early interventions and systems of support to reach their developmental potential, to be successful in school, and to have a chance at a bright future.
The aim of our project is to develop holistic, community-based programs that offer services to all young people and families in AIDS-affected areas and strengthen family and community support structures. With the involvement of a dedicated group of community leaders, we've built a new early childhood education and community center that will open in early 2014. Through the new center, we will provide opportunities for young children to learn, to develop socially, and to play.
Early childhood care and education is crucial for nurturing healthy, strong bodies and minds, preparing young people for school and for success in life. Programs like ours, which link the young child's cognitive, social/emotional, language, and motor development with stable and supportive caregiving, help break cycles of inter-generational poverty and inequality, particularly among children facing multiple forms of adversity.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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