Lisa Ashton, the Winnie Mabaso Foundation’s founder and CEO, tells us about the pre-school and library projects the charity runs in Meriting.
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, and it’s these words which have inspired the Foundation to ensure that the community it supports has as many learning opportunities as possible.
The Mabaso Pre-School provides early childhood development for 30 children aged from two to four years of age. The school is based in a converted shipping container and has been decorated in a cheerful bright yellow paint.
It is run by local staff that the Foundation has trained, and they have an extensive and fun learning programme in place.
“The children are like sponges, soaking up all the new things they are learning,” Lisa told us. “They have never had anything like this before. They particularly love cutting out shapes and sticking them on to card, painting, colouring, drawing and dressing up. And story time is always a highlight of the day.”
Next door to the pre-school is another brightly painted container which has been converted into a library.
“It was a challenge to find books for our library as most of our supporters are in the UK, and getting the books out to South Africa makes it a very expensive task.
“We had to contact lots of companies and charities within the country to tell them about our plans, and thankfully they have been very generous. We still have a few empty shelves, but we’re getting there! A local Rotary group in Johannesburg recently gave us over two hundred reference books,” Lisa said.
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