A Khumbalani Update

Gloria Bebeza started Khumbalani Daycare Centre in 2000. It began as a kind of soup kitchen in Khayelitsha (near Cape Town) and a support group for HIV positive mothers. 14 years ago the counselling structures and networks for people living with HIV were almost non-existent and it was Gloria’s goal to help these women cope: How could they protect themselves during sex? How could they live “safely” with the disease, protecting their children? How could they improve their health through better food choices? How could Gloria empower these women so that they could – in turn – educate the other women living in their communities?

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Nap time at Khumbalani Daycare Centre in Khayelitsha.

The support group grew steadily, but a problem emerged: most of the women brought their children to the group sessions, and this distracted from the group’s focus. One thing led to another, and it wasn’t long before Gloria had a daycare facility. Not only were the women being educated about living a healthier life with the virus, but they were also being given the opportunity to go back to work: Gloria’s daycare meant that there was a safe place for the children to stay during the day.

Today, Khumbalani has 220 children in its care, between the ages of three months and six years (and up to 13 years old in the aftercare facility). Rhino Africa – a long-term partner of Good Work Foundation (GWF) – has been involved in the project for a number of years, and asked Good Work Foundation for support in the area of teacher training.

You may have read in a blog late last year that GWF Preschools Coordinator, Di Myburgh, has introduced a programme called ‘Shape’, which is basically Grade R in a box. It contains the instructions for the annual curriculum, including daily, weekly and monthly activities. It also contains all of the materials, from gold stars, alphabet and number trains, stories and crayons to a teacher’s guide to student evaluation. It is a formalised curriculum that helps teachers to get kids “school ready”.

The programme, which began in January this year, is now well under way and, today, every young learner at Khumbalani is being taught with the guideline of a curriculum with specific outcomes. Our GWF “stories man” Ryan James, recently visited Gloria at Khumbalani:

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Gloria Bubeza at Khumbalani with the Shape programme.

“Gloria is definitely ‘slow and steady’, building up a community centre of hope and positivity one step at a time. The HIV support group still exists, but now there is a daycare centre, an aftercare centre and even a large piece of land where members of the support group grow their own vegetables. The Shape programme is giving ‘cement’ to the great initiatives already in place, and, before long, Gloria will have a brand new building. Here are some of the photos from my visit:”

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Ingo Bruggemann from Rhino Africa (right) with Gloria and a Daycare Centre teacher at Khumbalani.

 

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“I’m supposed to be napping…”

 

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A view out towards Table Mountain from Khumbalani’s new building site.

 

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Gloria looks back for a photo as she takes me on a tour.

 

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Gloria chats to Ingo about the progress of the new building. Khumbalani is situated in Khayelitsha, just outside of Cape Town.

 

 

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