Kabouterland Creche in Lotusville and Thembalesizwe Creche were both beneficiaries of a wonderful donation of toys and food from old Aberdonian Monica Abrahams last week.
Monica grew up in Aberdeen, and she and her late sister Margaret started a small crèche many years ago at the George Haywood sportsfields in Lotusville. About 30 years ago, Monica moved to Cape Town, and was employed as a domestic worker for 15 years. Her dream had always been to own her own crèche, and seeing the many preschool children wandering aimlessly around her neighbourhood prompted her to give up her job and follow her dream.
She started with 15 children, in a small RDP house, and her passion and dedication has enabled her to now run a very successful business with 150 children with 13 staff, in a building worth over R2m. Since the beginning of her enterprise she has never stopped learning, and has attended many courses. Members of her staff are all fully trained, and the school is known as a centre of excellence with a long waiting list.
When she was in Aberdeen last December, Monica visited the two local crèches and saw for herself some of the problems experienced by these two organisations. Due to lack of money, there are very few toys for the children, and often insufficient food. Although the fees asked are very low (R30 per child per month at Kabouterland if the parents are not working), very few parents actually pay. Aware of the stark contrast to the facilities available to the children in her care in Durbanville, Monica decided that she would like to give something back to the community in which she grew up. She launched an appeal to the parents of the children at her school and local businesses, and received tremendous support.
Monica and five of her teachers visited Aberdeen last week, bringing with them 18 boxes filled with puzzles, toys, and books for the Aberdeen crèches, mostly brand new. Five boxes of tinned and dried food were also donated by the Durbanville parents.
A fun day was organised for the Aberdeen children, with games and songs. Monica has been asked to help the local crèches on a regular basis with training, which she is very happy to do. The motto of her school is “it’s all about the child”, and she is very willing to pass on her knowledge and experience to help in the growth and development of the Aberdeen children too.