Sophie Ndimande and her husband Matthew are community leaders in Lethabong, a poor rural community in South Africa. He works as a general contractor and she is a retired nurse and mother caring for her children and those in the neighborhood. Parents were dying of AIDS everywhere, and elderly grandparents could not care or feed all of the children. Sophie and her friends noticed a growing number of very young street children in her community. She asked her husband if they could use a spare building on the property to start a creche.
The creche is a pre-school for local children who would otherwise not have a day care or teaching facility because they come from poor families. The creche opened in 2005. Sophie and her friends started this school feeding many of the street children who had lost their families from their own meager pantries. When we first met Sophie, 56 small children between the ages of 1 and 5 shyly greeted us with American Sunday school songs. They giggled at us because they had never seen “white people” and were quite curious. We soon won them over with much warmth and hugs as well as gifts of fresh fruit, shoes, and clothing.
The ladies caring for these children are undergoing government training to get certification which will allows them to receive a small stipend for their work at the creche.
Sophie’s preschoolers have often excelled beyond the average students attending school because of the pre-school training she teaches in reading, basic numbers, and learning the alphabet. School is from Monday thru Friday from 8:30am-2:00pm.
For this community, Sophie is the reliable and trusted person who people turn to in their time of need. She assists with everything from a food program, mentoring, counseling, and transportation to the hospital when families are desperate.
Aid Africa’s Children has an enduring and rewarding relationship with Sophie’s Creche. Whether it is paying tuition ($12 per month) for those who cannot afford to attend school or contributing to the food program for the students, Aid Africa Children is honored to help these preschoolers get early education to help break the cycle of poverty. We have wholeheartedly supported the Creche with teacher training, volunteers to teach classes, buying fire extinguishes, first aid kits, as well as contributing to purchase a larger building for the school. It is our hope that through government registration that the Creche can eventually sustain themselves without assistance.