#AdvancingChangeHeroes: ECD Kabokweni – Meet Miriam

Telling the #AdvancingChangeHero story

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Christopher Reeve

 #AdvancingChangeHeroes tells the stories of extraordinary South Africans with whom the Cipla Foundation work through our CSR initiatives.

Daily, they face many socioeconomic challenges, specifically within the education and health sectors, and manage to overcome the toughest of circumstances while serving their communities.

In this edition of #AdvancingChangeHeroes we focus on a woman that has created a sanctuary for children in an area of South Africa with a 95% unemployment rate and above-average teen pregnancy and HIV rates.

Meet Miriam Dlamini

With more than 17% of ECD centres in South Africa operating from a house or a garage, and 10% operating from a shack, Miriam, the principal of the Hiayisane Early Childhood Development Centre in Bhuga, Kabokweni and her teachers have an ever-growing list of children wanting to attend her school in an area that is in desperate need of these centres.

Currently there are 137 children attending the Hiayisane ECD and most of their parents are teenagers from Bhuga who don’t have any formal employment or work.

This Early Childhood Development Centre was deployed just over a year ago. Before that there was simply nowhere for the children in the area to attend a school that was within close proximity.

“This school has had a major impact in this area; what we discovered was that many of the children weren’t going to school. They only started when our school opened. I love children and when I meet with them and see how they are developing it really makes my heart happy,” says Miriam.

One of the major challenges facing Miriam is making sure that the children in her centre receive good nutrition. As a result of the unemployment issues in Kabokweni, many children are undernourished and weak and are seldom fed at home before school.

Statistics show that first the 1000 days of a child’s life is critical in developing their ability to learn, grow and thrive. This is profoundly affected by the quality of the health, nutrition and education they receive.

Some of the facts….

  • Children who get a “Healthy Start to Life” in the first 1000 days and beyond are;
  • 10 times more likely to overcome life threatening childhood diseases
  • More likely to complete up to five more grades in school
  • More likely to earn 21% more in wages as adults
  • More likely to have healthier families of their own

To find out more about the amazing work Miriam is doing visit our Facebook page.

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