First Ladies bring smiles to little faces

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Greeted with cheers and smiles at a day care centre in Mamelodi, Pretoria East, South Africa’s First Lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, and China’s First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan received a warm welcome by over 100 smiling faces.

Motsepe and Peng visited the centre on Tuesday, where they handed over gifts donated by the Chinese government to help with the daily running of the centre.

Motsepe said Peng’s visit is a special one because it is the first time that a First lady of any country has been able to come and see the facilities in the country.

“Thank you for granting us this opportunity because by your coming here, you are really going to highlight the importance of Early Childhood Development, especially from your country…’s an endorsement,” Motsepe told Peng.

Peng said she hoped that all the children can develop and grow up happily and healthy with Motsepe’s help, and with the help of all loving people in society.

She also invited the children at the day care centre to visit China when they grow up.

Founder and school principal of Uthando Christian Day Care Centre, Alicia Shongwe, described the visit by two First Ladies as an honour, noting the assistance offered by China to help with the running of the centre.

“I’m happy to have the First Ladies here, it is indeed an honour. The Chinese people did a lot for us. They've changed the appearance of our classes and kitchen by donating fridges, carpets, blankets and most of the things, which help us with the daily running of the centre. Our kids are also learning the Mandarin Language because one day they might go to China, and this will help to open opportunities for them,” said Shongwe. 

The centre was opened in 1996 with only two children, but it has since grown with 153 children attending.

Meanwhile, in the morning, President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Union Buildings during his State Visit to South Africa.

The State Visit takes place within the context of strengthening strategic and historic political, economic, social and international cooperation partnership between South Africa and China.

President Xi met President Ramaphosa ahead of South Africa’s hosting of the 10th BRICS Summit in which Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will participate. –