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Funds needed for north Durban centre to stay grounded

A Section 18A Certificate will be issued for all donations.

THERE are 40 children who are taken care of by Aquina Cares Care Centre in Mt Moriah – an early childhood development centre (ECD) which may have to close its doors should it not raise enough funding to purchase the land it’s situated on.

The centre was adopted by The Wellness Centre Trust two years ago, and founder Eloise Briggeman explains why it is now in this predicament.

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“The company that owns the land leased it to us, but now, the said company has gone under business rescue. We need to raise a substantial amount of money in order to make an offer to purchase the land so these children still have a place to go to learn and thrive every day,” she said.

The children come to the centre from areas north of Durban such as Mount Moriah, Avoca and Stonebridge.
“It’s not only a safe place for them but also a place where they receive quality education, meals and love and support,” explains Zola Kiala who is the founder of the ECD centre.

Kiala is a resident of Mt Moriah who had a vision to start an early childhood development centre for the community’s children. Her dream was also to become a teacher, but due to financial constraints, she put that idea on ice and took in three children from her community and began to teach them in her living room.

Zola Kiala is the founder of Aquina Cares. She is pleading with the private and corporate sector to donate funds to purchase the land where the centre is built.

“From there, word got out, and more parents wanted to send their children to classes. I then contacted Eloise and asked her if she would be able to assist so I could accommodate more children. She agreed, and from there, Aquina Cares grew,” said Kiala.

The centre has grown to a complement of five staff, including Kiala and two other teachers, a security guard and a cook.

She said she found that although there were places to send children to, all they provided was a babysitting service, and there was no teaching happening.

Another thing they found was that many children in the community could not speak or understand English, and this barrier prevented them from getting jobs when they were older as interviews are conducted in English the majority of the time.

Aquina Cares provides an educational programme, aftercare and homework centre, and Grade R.
“We need the support of the community and businesses to help us raise the funds so these children are given a fair chance at reaching their potential in life,” she said.

“Children will have nowhere to go, and staff will also be out of jobs,” she said.

Donations can be made to:
Bank name: Standard Bank
Branch name: Phoenix
Branch code: 4926
Account holder: The chairman Aquina Cares ECD Centre
Account number: 10 15 850 956 9
Account type: Current
SWIFT code: SBZAZAJJ

For more information, contact Briggeman at info@twct.co.za.

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