The Afri-CAN Children’s Charity was created as a result of eight years in the field, running a variety of entrepreneurially driven socially impactful projects. Our aim is to create a programme that has maximum impact with strong datasets to prove where we are getting things right and where we need to improve. Focusing on our 1 to 6-year-old beneficiaries as well as the staff and owners of the Early Childhood Development Centres/Nurseries (ECD Centres) has allowed us to maximise our impact.
It is simple – hungry children can’t learn. Education is the most effective route out of the poverty trap. A clean, safe, and professional environment for these kids in their first steps in life and education is the minimum they deserve. Failure to provide this is invariably catastrophic for the child.
To facilitate the creation of clean, safe and professionally run ECD Centres in the townships of South Africa, maximising the positive impact on both children and teachers by providing the support identified in our 6 Key Pillars. We target those existing, unregistered ECD Centres that are in desperate conditions, requiring intervention in order to become registered and Government compliant, thereby accessing the Department of Social Development support system (and funding).
We recognise the first 6 years of a child’s life will define much about them. We recognise too that the more we empower the owners and teachers at ECD Centres, the broader and more profound the community benefits. We work and consult with other NGOs and the South African Government to ensure our efforts are part of the national programme.
To ensure all children aged from 1 to 6 years old in our expanding programme have access to a clean, safe, and secure learning environment. To ensure sustainability of each of the ECD Centres and that the best training is available to the teachers and principals to improve their service to their pupils and their communities.
STARTING EARLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE
The first 5 years of life have a profound effect on a child’s future. Events in early childhood – even before birth – play a vital role in shaping health, education, social and economic outcomes for the duration of the child’s life.
Growing up in a situation of poverty, which is the case for nearly 2 out of 3 young children in South Africa influences their survival, growth and educational opportunities.
Evidence has shown that poor nutrition, hygiene and healthcare, insufficient psychological stimulation, and exposure to neglect, abuse or violence during early childhood all have detrimental effects on development, which are nearly impossible to fix in later life.