A morning at Fezeka Educare Centre
Jun 3, 2012
Visiting the Fezeka Educare Centre on Friday, I was again struck by the fact that environment does make a difference. Maria Montessori once said, "We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being." The Fezeka Educare Centre is like a light in a surrounding darkness.
South African Police Services (SAPS) statistics for the area show a community riddled with violent crime on a weekly basis. The Helderberg Street People's Centre works with child headed households in the Nomzamo Lwandle area and they say, "After Sir Lowry’s Pass, it is the location with the highest proportion of sexual and violent crime, so that after 6.00pm, it is unsafe to send a child outdoors, for fear of violence or theft." http://www.helderbergstreetpeople.co.za/
Despite all of the challenges, I was happy to see that Violet Nomdumiso Nkayi's work continues well (Violet is the founder and principal at Fezeka). At the moment space only allows for three classes, with the Grade R class on hold until another building can be built (the entire Centre was destroyed in fires in 2011).
The garden looks absolutely amazing, even now in the middle of winter. It provides fresh vegetables for the children year round and the garden is one of the big reasons that parents so desperately want their children to come to the Fezeka Educare Centre.
The caravan that used to serve as an office, also burnt down in 2011, so we held our meeting inside the car and watching the daily routines through the fence was a treat; the door to the kitchen was open and the cook was busy chopping vegetables for lunch. It was a beautiful winter day with the sun shining, so the supervisor and a helpful unemployed friend were busy putting up a gazebo and bringing out a table to serve the lunch outside. At the playground the kids were happily enjoying break. I missed my opportunity for a photo of them playing and later had to interrupt the 5 to 6 year old class learning to count, for a photo.
It was a blessing to visit and I can't wait to return, hopefully with a little science experiment and some more people, hopefully very soon.