COMMUNITY CHEST

The ‘Return of the Superheroes’ is an exciting campaign that sees Comrades runners raising funds for Community Chest Durban and Pietermaritzburg while running the Ultimate Human Race on Sunday, 28 August 2022. These Superhero runners appeal to family, friends, colleagues, clients, suppliers, and the general public to donate money through the Comrades’ Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive on the Race4Charity online portal. Community Chest provides a platform for corporates and individuals to confidently channel funding to organisations that are empowered to make a difference. These NPOs or Impact Partners have been evaluated on their ability to provide sustainable and significant support to the beneficiaries in their care. For the Comrades Campaign, Community Chest is focusing on the NPO Impact Partners whose purpose is to provide nutrition and early childhood development (ECD) to 6 000 children throughout KwaZulu-Natal. The first five years of a child’s life are essential in developing mental, physical, and emotional skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. Feed the Babies Fund is one of those organisations as they provide training in ECD which also includes health, hygiene, and first aid, as well as basic creche management skills. Feed the Babies Fund was established in 1957 to feed malnourished children in an informal settlement in Cato Crest, Durban and has developed and grown over the years. According to Sandy Davies, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, for over 60 years, we have assisted the most vulnerable in the neediest areas of KZN. From 1957 until 2008, we fed preschool children through various organisations and schools in KZN, and in 2009 Feed the Babies Fund started providing rural ECD Centres with a fortified, nutritious cereal. “In 2015 we started training Carers from rural ECD Centres in various Early Childhood Development courses. We conduct our ECD courses at our SETA accredited training centre in Osizweni, Newcastle. Teaching practice sessions in the centres mirrors the material set out in the Feed the Babies Fund manuals and courses so that what the Caregivers see, is reflected in what they learn,’’ concludes Sandy. Ihlombe (meaning applause) is an ECD Centre serving the Ntuzuma area and provides early childhood education to 103 children to prepare them for school. They too will benefit from the Race4Charity Comrades Campaign. Ihlombe Early Childhood Development Centre prides itself on being a facility that services the community with care and dignity. “We provide a safe haven for children where they learn and play joyfully every day. The love shown by our teachers makes the environment inviting and keeps the children excited and looking forward to attending the next day,” explains school administrator, Beauty Msomi. “Spending time outdoors is critical in our daily schedule to assess the physical well-being of our learners and to re-charge their mental alertness. We are extremely grateful to be part of growing and grooming future leaders,’’ concludes Beauty. Another beneficiary of the campaign is Khulani Creche, established 21 years ago in Hammarsdale, an area that faces many challenges – poverty, unemployment, and lack of educational material. The NPO’s main purpose is to provide care and education for the local children in a safe and nurturing environment and to offer a meaningful early childhood development programme that creates long-term benefits. Sizamakonke Crèche and Pre-school was established in 2018 and is based in the informal settlement of Redcliffe in Verulam. They too will be benefitting from the ‘Return of the Superheroes’ Comrades Campaign. This year they enrolled 75 children and strive to develop these children on all levels – fine motor skills, cognitive development, general knowledge, language, communication as well as build social, emotional, and physical health. They provide cooked meals to their children. “Our future plan is to have more classes to accommodate more children from our large community,” explains administrator, Bongiwe Mntungwana. The more money raised for Community Chest through the 2022 Race4Charity Comrades campaign, the more support we will be able to provide to these NPO Impact Partners responsible for the physical and mental health of over 6 000 children. No donation is too small, and every donation will make a difference. If you are a runner, please make a donation when you enter or sign up to run for Community Chest by visiting https://comrades.com/amabeadibeadi/. Contact Fadeela at fadeela@communitychest.co.za or chestpro@communitychest.org.za to find out how to go about fundraising.