R4.7m boost for early childhood development

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pretoria – The Oasis Group has donated a R4.7 million cheque to the Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD) to celebrate Youth Month.

The money is to be spent to advance teacher and caregiver skills, as well as to upgrade early childhood development facilities. 

Oasis Group – a global fund management operation – said the donation was fitting, given that 1 June is International Children’s Day, and that June is a month in which South Africans acknowledge children and youth.

Part of the group’s head office facility in Cape Town has been transformed into classrooms as well as a colourful playground as it opened its doors to welcome over 150 children and teachers to spend the day with them.

Oasis is also celebrating its 19th anniversary today and as is tradition, it celebrates with the children.

“A birthday is incomplete without the singular joy on a child’s face when he sings happy birthday to you. The joy in a child is infectious and will make anyone happy, so why not open the doors and celebrate with them, especially those that don’t have opportunities to have a party like this.

“Children force us to remain grounded and they allow us to all be young at heart.  When I spend time with all the children that form part of Oasis ongoing projects within the community, I come away with a determination to keep making this world better for them. 

“I want to protect them, give them every opportunity towards a fantastic education and see them grow and become successful in their lives,” said Oasis Deputy chairperson Nazeem Ebrahim.

The handover of funding brings Oasis’s investment in early childhood education to well over R10 million. R6.5 million of this has been channelled through to the CECD. 

Spearheading Oasis investment into education is the Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Adam Ebrahim. 

The project undertaken with the CECD is of personal interest to Adam, who is very passionate about creating opportunities for the youth of South Africa. 

“The lag faced in education today is not because of poor education but because we as individuals have forgotten that it is also our responsibility to create sufficient opportunities to allow our children to access education.

“Only we can stimulate and channel their creativity, their hunger for knowledge and learning effectively. We cannot leave communities and people to continue in a generational cycle of social and economic deprivation knowing that we can do something about it.

“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to advancing our people, but especially our children. They have a right to be protected, a right to education, a right to truly live in economic and social freedom. We must create a better society for them and that is why we have invested so deeply into advancing education at all levels in our country,” said Adam at the handing over event, attended by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

The funding for the CECD will benefit communities in Athlone, Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel, New Crossroads, Mission Station, Phillipi, Bloemkos, Wallacedene and Scotssdene areas within the Western Cape where support is most needed. 

“The funding will ensure children, especially those in their formative years and who are entrusted to caregivers, are exposed to developmental play and learning. Oasis initially funded a similar but smaller scaled project in 2012 to ensure that training was provided to caregivers so that they have the skill set to better teach children.

“Over time a number of informal aftercare/childcare groups were gradually converted into proper playschools and recognised ECD facilities. We assisted these facilities to access funding, manage their schools and provide real playgroups and sites of learning for the children within the communities.

“We are very happy to have Oasis on board as our partner and receive this substantial cash injection to expand the project into so many needy communities. It makes such a huge difference when children are exposed to early formative learning as it allows them to adjust and become far more receptive to knowledge transfer and enquiry when they enter the formal school system,” Professor Eric Atmore, Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Early Childhood Development. – SAnews.gov.za

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