A big day for ASHA!
Tuesday 24 July 2018 was an auspicious day in the history of the ASHA Trust. It involved an extremely high-level visit to the organisation and a certification ceremony for 88 ECD practitioners.
During the recent Chinese State Visit, which preceded the BRICS summit, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, South Africa’s First Lady and Chairman of the ASHA Trust hosted the visit of Madame Peng Liyuan the First Lady of The People’s Republic of China. ASHA was chosen as one of the organisation’s supported by Dr Motsepe to be visited by a delegation accompanying Madame Peng Liyuan. Amongst other titles and interests Madam Peng Liyuan is the UNESCO Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girl’s and Woman’s Education. Her work in this area strongly resonated with ASHA’s Community Development Model which is designed to empower women of all ages from poor, under-resourced communities. The model has a duel role to deliver ECD learning and teaching skills for the participants in its programmes to develop children at a critical stage of their lives; and to establish formal pre-schools, as sustainable small businesses, for these women. The Trust’s work enables women to make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of children who would otherwise be denied the opportunity of quality ECD, and emancipates these women financially through self-sufficiency and entry into the formal economy.
The day began with a visit to a pre-school in Mamelodi, where Madame Pen Liyuan was able to get an idea of the communities where ASHA works, as well as interacting with the ECD practitioners and children at the Uthando Christian Day Care Centre. This gave her and her delegation an idea of ASHA’s work with practitioners and the beneficial knock on effect within the whole school. She was impressed by the motivation and enthusiasm of the staff of the pre-school and their ability to deliver quality teaching and learning in a hygienic, safe, well-managed environment; and the bright eyes, infectious smiles and waves of the happy youngsters.
This site visit was followed by the First Lady’s attendance of a mass certification ceremony in Pretoria where ASHA course participants were gathered from programmes around Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Madame Pen Liyuan was warmly greeted by graduates in traditional style. She was obviously slightly surprised by the spontaneity of the welcome, with singing and dancing, but was soon beaming at the obvious joy of the participants and their sense of occasion. She delivered a key note address, where she praised the work she had seen in the advancement of women and girls and congratulated all on their achievements. Unfortunately, other commitments meant that she had to leave before the actual award of certificates, but she left smiling at the rhythmic send-off of the all at the ceremony.
June and July 2018 Certification Ceremonies
ASHA hosted two certification ceremonies in June and July 2018 for 125 ECD practitioners from Gauteng and North West provinces. The ECD practitioners who were awarded certificated are from 6 communities i.e. Rustenburg, Bronkhorstspruit, Soshanguve, Cosmo City, Alexandra and Ekurhuleni East. These were indeed joyous events and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part.
We would like to acknowledge the following donors for their support in these communities i.e. Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, GIBELA Trail Transport Consortium, Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters Foundation, SASOL Global Foundation and SPUR Foundation.
On 18 July 2018, ASHA and its donors celebrated Mandela Day with the now traditional visits to pre-schools of donor staff members. This year’s event saw the Spur Foundation and Group staff members working in nine centres in Alexandra. The aim in all nine centres was to carry out work and supply resources that would see them moving closer to various registrations to become formal pre-schools. It saw repairing and painting of toilets and ceilings, installation of appliances such as stoves and fridges and provision of resources such as educational toys and mattresses.
The staff from Instinctif Partners were active in Cosmo City with painting and DIY chores and IDF Capital provided food and learning resources to a site in the same area.
In all these pre-schools the work of donor staff is so appreciated by the staff and children, and really makes a difference in their lives. Once again ASHA wishes to thank the staff members of its loyal donors for their time and effort, and dedication to the memory of Madiba.
We need your support
ASHA can only succeed and make a meaningful contribution with the support and assistance of its donors. We need your continued support.
If you would like to know more, please contact our Director, Deirdre Caulwell, who is always happy to discuss how you can get more involved. Contact her on 011 463 0551 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please visit the ASHA website www.ashatrust.com for additional information on contributing.