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Alex on track with its first childhood development centre

South Africa: The Good News    Translate This Article
5 March 2010

Alexandra Township, a stone's throw from Johannesburg's plush Sandton suburbs, will get its first early childhood development (ECD) centre that is aimed at empowering and educating children below the age of six from the township.

The new centre is currently under construction alongside the Phuthaditjaba Community Centre in Alex.

The MaAfrika Tikkun NGO, which focuses on the sustainable transformation of impoverished communities, raised the money for the community. The NGO is also the driving force behind the construction of the new 1600m2 two-storey centre of excellence, which is scheduled to open later this year.

Marc Lubner, CEO of MaAfrika Tikkun, was speaking during a recent site visit by two of the centre's major sponsors, former local businessman Ronnie Lubner and his wife Rhona, who are now based in the UK.

'This building doesn't belong to MaAfrika Tikkun. It belongs to the people of Alex. Our ECD (Early Childhood Development) facilities, for example, will be available to other pre-schools in the township,' Lubner said. 'With the support of our generous sponsors, we are partnering with the people of Alex to build a better future for the children of the township.'

The Lubners, along with the Gauteng Department of Social Development; the international Belron Group—the world's largest vehicle glass repair and replacement business; and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, are providing the bulk of the funding for the R6-million development which will be known as the Ronnie and Rhona Lubner Child and Youth Care Centre.

Since 2004, MaAfrika Tikkun has worked closely with the Phuthaditjaba Community Centre for the aged, to extend its services to caring for the youth and their caregivers. This has resulted in the establishment of a feeding scheme; the training and monitoring of 15 community caregivers and 10 youth interns; and a formal youth development programme.

Over 400 people are directly served by the Phuthaditjaba centre daily—200 elderly and 200 youth. When the new Ronnie and Rhona Lubner Child and Youth Care Centre opens, it will cater for 150 children under the ages of six. Youth activities will be moved to the new building which will feature a fully-equipped on-line computer centre; a library and an impressive sports hall—the first of its kind in the township.

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