We are beaming with pride following the graduation of our Grade R class of 2021 – the first class to graduate from the Rays of Hope Hlayisanani ECD centre in Alexandra since the centre was taken over from Save the Children in January 2021.

The Rays of Hope ECD program runs daily from 08:00-15:30 in Alex, and accommodates a total of 60 learners who receive quality pre-primary education and benefit from a well-equipped playground – an important yet rare facility for children in Alex.

“It was such a sad but proud moment for the teachers to see their “babies” go off into the real world,” says Bafana Mohale, Education Programmes Manager at Rays of Hope. “They have all been placed in different schools in Alex, depending on the home language each child speaks.”

The first five years of a child’s life are an incredibly important time for building the right foundations to promote social, cognitive, emotional and language skills that children need to be able to learn, perform well academically, and become contributing members of society and the economy.

In fact, according to a recent amendment to the Schools Act, it is now compulsory for children to attend school from Grade R. Rays of Hope welcomes this change, and hopes to give even more children from Alex a better chance at a brighter future.

Keeping the ECD programmes running successfully, however, can be challenging. According to Mohale: “Our learners pay R200 per month, but this does not even cover their meals for the month. So, we raise funds for literally everything, starting with teacher salaries, stationery for learners and teachers, toiletries, teaching aids, and maintenance of the ECD.”

You can help us continue these programmes and make a real and sustainable difference in the lives of children in Alex with a small donation or monthly sponsorship – just R100 can buy a child a school uniform or provide appropriate, good quality nutrition necessary for a child to learn, play and develop.

Make your donation or pledge your support through a sponsorship here.