Over the last three years, mothers in the Gamagara area have been upskilled to become mentors, in order to build Early Childhood Development (ECD) capacity, within the local communities. As an extension of this highly successful programme, the Mentor Moms are being supported to establish their own play groups, as sustainable entities.
Aptly named the ‘Next Step’ programme, this initiative is being funded by REISA Solar, as part of its overarching flagship ECD Programme, which launched in 2018.
“This initiative is providing the beneficiaries with valuable skills and empowering previously trained and capacitated Mentor Moms to build their own playgroup businesses. Additionally, the playgroups will provide quality education that will allow the children to meet their developmental milestones,” explained Veronique Isaacs, Project Community Operations Officer for REISA.
At present, REISA Solar is funding 14 mentors and 15 playgroups, highlighting the potential for this programme, which will stimulate local business development and local employment. The mentors have received training in various areas, such as facilitating play sessions; generating income as mentors; establishing relationships with parents; administration, among other skills required to manage a successful and sustainable micro-enterprise.
“Being a mom and then having a child in the programme was such a blessing, it made bonding with my child more meaningful. This opportunity has made me proud of myself because I am able to help others, and they see me as the teacher and mentor they need,” said Marenchia Jo-Ann Strauss, one of the beneficiaries of this programme, which now has the chance to formalise her playgroup as a sustainable income generator.
The REISA Solar ECD Parental Involvement Programme, encompasses two key initiatives, namely ‘Bringing Parents to the Education Table’ and ‘Mentor Moms’, both of which have been very well received by the communities of Olifantshoek, Debeng, Siyathemba and Mapoteng.
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