As a hospitality business Verlorenkloof employs a large number of female staff; in fact two generations from most households, grandmothers and moms, are working full time. This creates a need for baby and child minding, but also the wonderful opportunity for an early childhood development program, for a total in all of about 25 kiddies.
The staff had approached us last year and proposed that, if we could provide a venue at Matsepo, the staff village on the farm, the parents would be willing to contribute R200 per month per child towards paying a teacher, support staff, and covering other monthly costs.
As a trial we set up a small crèche with 7 kiddies at the farmhouse two years ago and the success was immediately apparent.
The proposal was taken to the Verlorenkloof board of directors last year who generously agreed to put the Community Social Investment spending for 2017 and 2018 towards the project. This enabled site preparation and laying the foundation slab for a well thought out functional architect designed 120 square meter building, now ready to be completed.
The building will fulfil a number of functions, namely:
- A crèche on working days, and weekends where required;
- A homework centre for primary and secondary school learners after hours;
- A community hall, film centre over weekends, and a church venue on Sundays;
- An appropriate clinic venue for monthly visits by the Department of Health.
The crèche presents an opportunity for Verlorenkloof owners to connect in a very real, tangible and ongoing way with the families and children of the mothers who provide service to them at Verlorenkloof, and for the company to share with the employee community in the care, well-being and education of their children. The name chosen for the crèche is Hlokomela, that is, to care.
The building will cost about another R250, 000 to complete. We have been incredibly fortunate to obtain the support of life-long friends and anchor sponsors, Bridget and Martin Heneck, who have committed to donate on a Rand for Rand basis with Verlorenkloof owners, while guaranteeing a substantial portion of the funds required. Our heartfelt thanks go to them for their generosity.
We want to make an appeal to Verlorenkloof owners for donations towards the balance of the construction cost. Please contact us if you would like to know more about the project or if you would like to be involved in any other way. A positive response will put us in a position to move on the project and make the crèche a reality. A care centre for the children of Verlorenkloof has long been a shared dream of everyone here. Now we hope that, with your help, we can make it happen.
Please use the following banking details and references:
Account name: Verlorenkloof Receipts
Account no. 1497 019 362
Reference – your name & Crèche Fund