Creating a cultural exchange of information, resources and learning in early childhood education.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has drastically slowed the economic growth and social development in Africa, because hundreds of thousands of people are unable to work or receive an education.  91% of the worlds HIV-positive children live in Africa and more than 95% of young children in Africa do not have access to early education programs, care facilities or non-fee paying schools. On the Cape Flats of Cape Town, South Africa, lack of employment, alcohol abuse and substance abuse, financial difficulties and lack of service, community and recreational facilities lead to domestic abuse and criminal activity. These include robbery, hijacking, deliberate damage to property and sexual assault/rape. Children are confronted with violence, alcohol abuse and drug abuse in their homes and on the street. Each person has their own worries and to a certain extent, a community is unable to help one another. This leads to a lack of involvement and interest in community problems.

‘Today, in South Africa as in many other countries globally, we are increasingly faced with serious problems such as: poverty and illiteracy; the widening gap between rich and poor; proliferating acts of violence; and social exclusion, with high numbers of children living below the poverty line. The right to education is invaluable in a bid to eradicate poverty and tackle these challenges.’

SAHRC. Charter of Children’s Basic Education Rights. 2012

StarBright fully supports early childhood education as essential for young vulnerable children in South Africa as a source to provide -

  • improvement in achievement of life skills
  • safe childcare
  • a holistic environment for young children to thrive
  • literacy and numeracy skills
  • school readiness
  • social interaction with other children of the community
  • adult role models
  • healthy and nutritious meals
  • a break in the cycle of lack of education and childcare
  • inspiration for the future

References:

‘Operational Guidelines for Supporting Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Multi-Sectoral HIV/AIDS Programs in Africa.’  UNAIDS. The World Bank. UNICEF. 2002

http://pearsonfoundation.org/globalassistchallenge/

http://www.true-north.co.za/projects/little-to-much/

South African Human Rights Commission. Charter of Children’s Basic Education Rights. 2012