Last month saw the Harding ECD Network meeting take place at the Umuziwabantu Municipal town hall. It comprised of women from ECD Centres around Umuziwabuntu gathering together to hear about the latest developments in ECD policies and procedures, hearing from DSD and their local EHP and discussing ways forward in terms of their centres, NAG memberships and requirements as well.
The meeting was opened by Sane, a NAG staff member and the facilitator for the meeting. She spoke to the ladies about the agenda, the guests for the day and how things would run. She then asked for 2 volunteers to chair the meeting. It’s important to mention that a part of the NAG philosophy is empowering our members to chair and host their own meetings, so that they can do it on their own with their committees. These meetings aren’t just about communicating, they are also about educating and uplifting.
Once the meeting was called to order, new Partial Registration’s were discussed. This included explaining helping new ECD centres with information on what they needed for their registration. During this time other members shared their expertise and struggles of registering. Questions were asked and answers given, after which the local EHP shared the requirements that needed to be met in order for ECD centres to get certification. She went over what each site was required to have and the things EHP’s look out for. She then explained why certain things like fences are necessary for safety and for Environmental Health Practices.
The next part of the meeting focussed around shared information from the Department of Social Development. Mr (ask sane) spoke to the women about making sure they visit DSD for any other information on certification and registration. He then explained that there would be a few meetings in the upcoming months with DSD and ECD centres.
Nosipho and Vuyiswa, who are also NAG Staff members, then went on to share about learning groups, upcoming trainings and education about toys sponsored by The Unlimited Child. Nosipho explained the need to take care as well as use the toys the ECD sites received and reminded them that the training they received helps them with how to incorporate the toys in the education syllabus. She also went on to share that there would be upcoming training for those who had never been. She then explained how the learning groups work for new members and when they take place. Learning groups and trainings like The Unlimited Child are offered to ECD sites to improve both teaching and learning.
The meeting concluded with a slide show of various ECD sites and pictures of their toilets. That might seem a little odd to someone on the outside but this is an important part of “giving children a fair start in life.” In many rural areas the toilets are usually just dug up pits and a few children have been injured from unsafe latrines. One of our goals at NAG is to help ECD sites be safe and get the resources to be able to do that. We try and partner with organisations that will help us build facilities that meet governement requirements and are great environments for children to learn and grow in.
If this network meeting is anything to go by, the future of the next generation is set because they have teachers who care about them and work to become better.