Eleven Things You Didn't Know about Project Akwande ukukhanya

11 Things You Didn’t Know about Project Akwande Ukukhanya

  1. Akwande ukukhanya is an Early Childhood Development Crèche Owner Empowerment Programme which originally started as a pilot in 2017 with 15 women led ECDs, and due to its success, we were requested to run it in Diepsloot!
  2. Akwande ukukhanya has a unique, three-pronged approach business model: Supporting women social entrepreneursand leaders through personal and wellness development, empowering them with business skills knowledge as well as sharing tools to help them improve classroom content and environment.
  3. P&G RSA and the Pampers Brand team have been supporting and sponsoring the second phase of the programme – helping the project become a reality. 11 Things You Didn't Know about Project Akwande ukukhanya
  4. There are 22 female participants, heading 22 crèches and collectively they employ 78 female teachers who in turn teach and 1099 children. The Akwande ukukhanya suppliers are SMEs community partners and non-profits. The intention was to hire a local youth, thus creating employment for at least one person. We hope to employ more as the project grows. By running the training locally, we reduce the need to travel and therefore have a small environmental impact.
  5. The project is run in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all and supporting such a project would allow us and our partners to contribute towards achieving this.
  6. Nokwazi Mzobe is the Project Lead for Akwande ukukhanya as well as the Founder of Matoyana Media. Nokwazi is an Impact focused entrepreneur, Small Business Advocate, Mentor and the author of The Small Business Handbook which is available in both English and isiZulu. 11 Things You Didn't Know about Project Akwande ukukhanya
  7. During the COVID-19 lockdown the women on the programme put their newly acquired digital literacy skills into practice by attending and completing their first ever online course.
  8. It takes a village of people to keep the fire burning on a project like this – many thanks to: Themba Ndlangisa,Lethu Ndlovu,MokgadiNtinaMolopa, Portia Ngcobo, Nell Bickmore, NCVT, BSSA, Brian Simelane, Lesedi Mogoatlhe, ZaneleNkosi, Content Architects, SV Capital, Digify Africa, Veld Cooper and Associates and Stephen Shange.
  9. Diepsloot is a township which has seen slow change and much of the population live in poverty with inadequate housing and high levels of unemployment. But despite these and other challenges thereis a strong sense of community and many of the residents are determined to make their environment better.
  10. Akwandeukukhanya isan isiZulu name meaning “may the light spread” / “spreading the light further”. The name was chosen because we believe that if we can empower theOwners, they inturn will empower the children they teach which will hopefully result in better educated youngsters – as ECD is a critical foundational phase for children’s education.
  11. The Early Childhood Development centers in the Akwande ukukhanya programme are in underserved communities, where parents can’t afford quality education. The ECD service providers need the skills to improve the quality of the education they provide; improve their systems, their finances and operations. By providing assistance to the ECD owners, we can assist them to improve the quality of their own lives and crèches and therefore having a positive impact on the children attending these centers. As the National Development Agency (NDA) reports – “ECD has been recognized as one of the most powerful tools for breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty in South Africa. Scientific evidence confirms the importance of the early years for human development and the need for investing resources to support and promote optimal child development from conception. Lack of opportunities and interventions, or poor-quality interventions, during early childhood can significantly disadvantage young children and diminish their potential for success.” (www.nda.org.za)

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