Sikhula Sonke opened its doors in 2001, in response to the need for an appropriate early childhood development programme for the children of Khayelitsha and surrounding communities. It provides quality early childhood development interventions and currently runs four programmes, including a mobile toy library, Funda-Udlale.
Pearl Mphuthi, FNB Fund Manager says, “Children who are given opportunities to explore, discover and create at a young age are able to cope better at school and have a higher chance of achieving at university level, and the mobile toy libraries are an excellent way to learn through play.”
A toy library is a high impact, cost effective, non-centre based early child development* (ECD) programme that gives children access to a collection of carefully selected educational play material such as toys, games, puzzles and activities. It also provides training for family and ECD practitioners on how to use the toys to encourage development.
Mdebuka Mtwazi, Executive Director of Sikhula Sonke says that he believes all children have the right to be loved and cared for and to be developed physically, intellectually, emotionally, morally and socially and that by nurturing and building our children, we nurture and build our nation.
“Funda-Udlale is an ECD resource available to the children of Khayelitsha. This intervention takes the form of a toy, leisure and active learning library. Funda-Udlale is an isiXhosa term that means learn and play. In a broader sense, it is a concept that encourages and affords young children an opportunity to develop their skills through play actions,” says Mtwazi.
Additionally, the library plays host to a range of educational workshops, including caregiver cluster workshops, which gives caregivers and outreach workers the opportunity to come together to share experiences, offer advice on ECD interventions for their children, and offer the children time in the library, to explore new games and educational toys, with each item providing a learning opportunity that helps to build a skillset that will prepare the child for the formal education ahead.
Funda-Udlale also offers music therapy workshops to help develop the capacity of young children to use music as a therapeutic tool in traumatic situations. This is a year-long course, hosted by an external partner, where practitioners are taught how to encourage children to develop their own music, and the venue rotates through the intervention.
“Playing has been proven to be one of the most important factors in the holistic development of young children, so that they thrive physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively and also spiritually in order to grow up to be better citizens. The Funda-Udlale programme strives to instil the values of play and stimulation in order to assist the young children in the communities that Sikhula Sonke serves to develop to their fullest potential,” says Mtwazi.
“Sikhula Sonke’s toy library is a wonderful initiative for the community and their efforts will significantly and positively impact on the future of the young children they come into contact with. It is programmes such as these that will help children realise their potential, and in so doing, secure their potential future,” concludes Mphuthi.
To read more on Sikhula Sonke, visit: http://www.sikhulasonke.org.za/