Early childhood development a priority for Itec SA
Categories: COMPANY NEWS , Early Childhood Development (ECD)
This comes as a result of the company’s ongoing support of the organisation – having contributed both time and money over the past 9 years.
Itec SA, an Investec EP business today announced that they will continue demonstrating support to Ikamva Labantu, a Western Cape based NGO, as part of its ongoing efforts to support early childhood development initiatives in South Africa during the year ahead.
Findings from The South African Early Childhood Review revealed that nearly 4 million children under the age of 6 lack access to the critical care and support that is required for their development, which in the long run increases inequalities within South Africa - hindering all social and economic inclusion efforts. It is for this reason that Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes are necessary to bridge the social and economic inequalities in South Africa and that these programmes are collectively supported by all South Africans, to enrich the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“As a business that is committed to empowerment and education, we have taken this approach to heart and have, as a result, made substantial donations to Ikamva Labantu since 2008 to help meet the needs of children in South Africa, which is something we are very proud of as an organisation”, says Gavin Meyer, executive director at Itec SA.
Since its inception in 1963, Ikamva Labantu has been caring for vulnerable and abandoned children in a number of ways. Today, the organisation takes a holistic approach to address ECD needs by focusing on the training of pre-school teachers and principals. This approach has yielded positive results, largely due to the fact that teachers and principals have the greatest impact on children after their family.
“According to UNICEF, the first 1 000 days of life, from conception to the age of two are a crucial period in a child’s life where the foundations of physical, cognitive and emotional development are established, yet 63% of children younger than 18 live in poverty. Despite these statistics, there is an opportunity for corporate SA to provide more resources to expand early childhood development programmes – which is why we welcome the continuous support from corporates such as Itec SA,” says Ronell Jordaan, Fundraising Manager at Ikamva Labantu.
With the financial support of South African corporates such as Itec SA, Ikamva Labantu has been able to provide training to over 500 pre-school teachers and principals.
The principals’ training focuses on leadership and business management skills, while teachers learn how to engage with children and their parents in order to create a solid foundation for future learning. This training positively impacts thousands of children in Cape Town townships such as Gugulethu, Nyanga and Khayelitsha – considered to be among the poorest in South Africa.
Meyer concludes: “We are proud to be associated with an organisation like Ikamva Labantu that is dedicated to making a difference in those communities that need it most, and we are confident that with our support this year, they will continue to do so”.