“Äfter 23 years as a teacher, I saw a gap in the education market in my area and went for it.
It occurred to me that every day when children knocked off at school they had nothing to do and nowhere to go until their parents returned from work to collect them. That’s when I started this after-scholl care centre in Thulamahashe.” That, in a nutshell, explains how the Kunene Foundation came into existence under the leadership of the inspiring and indetiquable Margaret Mnisi in the rural township of Thulamashe, Limpopo Province.
A highly motivated and determined leader, Mnisi is a well known educationist in her area and spends most of her time teaching and taking care of the children of Bushbuckridge. A visionary and fearless person, she left her teaching job of twenty three years to chart a new path of community development. Today she is a proud founder of Kunene Foundation whose main focus is taking care of children for those hours when school is out and parents still at work. This is a much needed service common in urban centres and rare in rural areas.
What is really significant about the after school care centre is the fact the young ones actually receive tuition and a meal while waiting for their parents to collect them. What this means is that the kids are taught twice in one day, first at school and later at the after school care centre. For those parents who have enrolled their children the benefits are evident; their children have an advantage over those who after school go straight home or loiter around waiting to be fetched. With a focus on teaching the young ones English, Maths and life skills, the project serves a particularly important purpose in the community as those subjects are sorely needed for the development of the children at that age.
With a visionary leader like Margaret Mnisi, the Bushbuckridge region is blessed with a resource that is on a daily basis available to develop the young ones. Mnisi told the Thuma Mina Movement crew that she had challenges that require financial injection to turn the project into a fully resourced and sophisticated modern community after school centre. In her own words she said, “despite other infrastructure deficiencies, we need transport in the form of a bus to ferry the learners around the area and transport them home. Most of our learners come from very poor families without cars to collect their children and a bus would make a huge difference indeed. I hope Thuma Mina will assist in this regard.”
Source: Sello Lediga
Photos: Martin Madale