In a rundown wooden shed, perched on a dusty Hangberg hillside, 25 preschoolers are scratching out the beginnings of an education.
Tersia Williams started Israel’s Angels Educare Centre in June 2018 after her son, 10-month-old Israel, died at a Hangberg daycare the year before.
“It has always been my dream to open my own daycare centre, but this dream never materialised until the passing of my son, which prompted me to open a daycare centre in memory of my son,” she said.
With minimal resources, Ms Williams and four staff members run the daycare from 7am until 7pm, making sure all the children are fed and washed before they are sent home.
“We only charge R450 for the month, and we already have to feed the child three times as well, so it does become really difficult at times, but we always do our utmost best.”
Ms Williams hopes to expand the educare, but her first priority is to put a fence up around the property.
The educare has recently been taken under the wing of the Anwar Jakoet Foundation. Founded by Anwar Jakoet, a teacher by profession and entrepreneur, the non-profit company supports several charitable causes.
The foundation recently donated second-hand tyres and some building materials to the educare so that a new stairway leading up to it could be built on the hillside. The foundation has also provided a portable hand-wash basin and it plans to donate carpets.
Mr Jakoet said the foundation generally supported initiatives that had little or no support from government or big businesses.
“By bringing the plight of such organisations out to the public eye, through our social-media network, and giving them exposure, we hope that they can attract direct sponsorship from the public and big businesses.”
Mr Jakoet has been involved with the Hout Bay community since 2002 with various business initiatives.
“After our initial visit to the site on the slopes of the mountain, we were blown away by Tersia’s story and her commitment, drive and passion to make this ECD work against all odds,” he said.
“We do not normally assist with infrastructure but made the exception after seeing that this lady was doing things for herself with her own bare hands. Inspirational indeed.
“We know this investment in impoverished children will pay handsome dividends in the future.”
Ms Williams said: “I strongly believe that each and every child must have a safe, healthy and happy environment, and, with the community’s help, I might just be able to accomplish our goal.”
• To help Israel’s Angels Educare Centre, contact Tersia Williams at 078 934 3149.