Supporting early childhood development initiative in rural Limpopo
Children attending the Mankaba Crèche near Burgersfort in Limpopo can look forward to a more comfortable learning environment and a brighter future since a truck carrying a 12m x3m parkhome rolled up to deliver their new school recently.
“We are delighted that we are able to help make a difference in these children’s lives through this donation to a crèche, which is run by Mr Matala Landros Mankaba, who is an exceptionally proactive and community-minded man,” says Nomfundo Metula, General Manager: Sales and Marketing at Rand Mutual (RMA).
Mr Mankaba, who has been on a 100% disability pension from RMA since suffering a disabling mining accident in 1994, identified the need to start the first crèche in the Burgersfort informal settlement some years ago, as there was no such resource available for the local children. He and his wife, who teaches at the crèche, have been doing their best for the children with meagre resources, mostly off his disability pension.
“A few months ago, Mr Mankaba contacted us seeking assistance from our social fund, which was established to help uplift the socioeconomic circumstances of the more impoverished communities where our beneficiaries live. He requested assistance in the form of chairs and tables for the crèche, and we asked him to send some photos of the facility so that we could better understand their needs,” Metula relates.
The photos revealed that the crèche did not have sufficient shelter for the approximately 30 children it serves, and RMA was moved to intervene as part of its corporate social investment activities. The crèche provides school-readiness education and meals to children from the community.
“Education, particularly early childhood development, is very important to us as we believe that a solid learning foundation through interventions such as Mr Mankaba’s crèche have the potential to make a lasting difference to the future of the individual children through better school success. This ultimately also has an impact on the community. We therefore decided to donate the parkhome to provide shelter and a more conducive learning environment for the children,” Metula explains.
Mr Mankaba’s former employer, Bokoni Platinum, also made donations to the crèche, including the tables and chairs he had initially requested.
“When the children caught sight of their new bright crèche, they were so excited and their faces lit up with joy. We hope that this gesture will help to light up their futures by assisting the teachers to unlock each child’s potential.
“This is truly an instance of caring, compassionate compensation in action as Mr Mankaba is making a real contribution in his community and brought this opportunity for doing social good to our attention. Mr Mankaba is proof that a disability does not need to hold you back and he remains an inspiration to us all. Not only has he transcended living with a disability, but he has used the pension that he gets paid from us to for the greater good and for this he must be applauded,” she adds.
“We wish Mr Mankaba, the teachers and children of the crèche all the very best for the future. We commend Mr Mankaba for the leadership he has shown in developing this resource for the children and his resourcefulness in making the most of what was available to make a difference in their lives – he is a hero to these children and an example to us all,” Metula concluded.