Caring about the future

Caregivers from around Hout Bay graduated from the Funda Kunye course.
The caregivers being taken through the course by one of the trainers.

A new Hout Bay NPO has set its sights on the future, focusing on assisting caregivers in Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg.

Funda Kunye was started to provide caregivers with quality education which will help improve the care they offer to the babies and toddlers in their care.s they look after.

It was started by Carina van der Merwe and Karen Temlett.

“Through our outreach work in Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg, we have come to realise that there is a great shortage of quality daycare education and so Funda Kunye was started,” said Ms Temlett.

Funda Kunye, which means “Learn Together” in isiXhosa, has a field worker who locates the daycares and tells the caregivers about the courses they offer. The caregivers attend one or both of the courses on offer, covering the development and age-appropriate activities of babies between 3 to 12 months and toddlers from 12 to 36 months.

“Many of the women cannot afford to pay for the courses, however, we do feel there is a worth to what we offer, so a minimum fee is charged (and we) find sponsors for the balance,” Ms Temlett explained.

Once they have completed their training, they obtain a certificate of attendance, which is displayed in their daycare. Funda Kunye also offers a yearly, themed curriculum which sees the women trained on how to utilise in their daycare facilities.

“We then look at finding sponsors to assist with the upgrading of the daycares so the children attend a well resourced, beautiful daycare. The community see an investment taking place, there is buy-in from the parents and the daycare attendance rate increase, therefore creating a more sustainable income for the caregivers,” Ms Temlett said.

Funda Kunye makes a point of reaching women who may never obtain a Department of Social Development (DSD) registration and/or who have very little formal education but, through training provided by Funda Kunye, the women will be better equipped to support the children in their care to have long-term impact.

Linet Nolut from Hangberg said after doing the programme, she saw herself as a qualified teacher.

“I just want to say thank you so much to you for teaching me because now I know many things. Even my principal comments on me everyday.”

Chrystaline Williams added: “This is a very good course, for me personally, as it has really helped me a lot in understanding how to manage babies, understanding them and how they develop.”

Fieldworker for Funda Kunye, Nobantu Paliso, said: “As I have done ECD training before, I found the programme to be more explanatory and expository, it gave me more understanding than when I did my previous ECD course.”

Noluvuyo Hloyi from Imizamo Yethu said: “I wish I can do the course again. I really enjoyed it here and the trainers were good to us and helped us understand the course content.”

Ms Paliso has already identified 18 daycares in Imizamo Yethu, 15 of which were gravely under-resourced, with no no educational items on site such as puzzles, books, crayons, colouring books, blocks and so on.

“We are not currently funded, but continue to do what we do as we feel we all need to start somewhere and wish to continue to make a difference in the community by up-skilling the women who run the daycares to be effective in what they offer,“ Ms Temlett said.

For more information, you can contact Ms Temlett on karenfundakunye@gmail.com