POLOKWANE – The Zalabantu Educare Foundation (ZEF) is a non-profit organisation (NPO) which was founded by Alleta Mathumba (28), Besley Boshielo (25) and Penny Mathumba (25) in 2016. ZEF was founded on the basis of creating intervention strategies to address the negative impact of poverty on educational outcomes.
After doing some research as a team, these three noticed that these socioeconomic factors have a large pervasive and persistent influence over school achievement and situations like this have led to a high rate of dropouts in South Africa.
“As ZEF we understand children from low income households score significantly lower on measures of vocabulary and communication skills, knowledge of numbers, copying and symbol use, ability to concentrate and cooperative play with other children compared to children from higher income households. This is why we deal with various educational and community projects to address past poverty imbalances,” Alleta explained.
Besley added ZEF strives to reach and uplift the poorest of the poor. “We aim to assist disadvantaged communities in Limpopo and Mpumalanga in their quest to obtain quality, relevant education in order to ensure the children become citizens who are relevant in the job market and contribute to the economic empowerment of their respective provinces.”
Their mission is to build a country in which everyone has access to lifelong learning. They want to do this through skills development training in disadvantaged communities which will in turn contribute towards improving the quality of life and building a peaceful, prosperous and democratic SA.
“We often volunteer at places such as The Place of Safety and Samaritan Children’s Home by forming part of their programmes.
“We have hosted career and motivation drives in areas such Ga-Sekororo in partnership with Maruleng Municipality and we’ve also hosted awareness campaigns about child abuse and bullying in schools,” Besley said.
ZEF is introducing Early Child Development (ECD) workshops aimed at for crèche workers caring for young children from birth to four years, pregnant women and community healthcare workers. “Our first programme, a two-day ECD aims to give a comprehensive, practical and relevant workshop on ECD and stimulation to around 20 delegates from the community,” Alleta said.
This, she added, will enable these delegates to become carers or practitioners within a crèche or to be placed with an employer. Attendees will also be equipped to better raise their own children and assist within their community. “We are in the process of applying for accreditation because our three-year plan involves offering an accredited one year ECD training programme to educators,” Besley said.
He added they have the ability and the responsibility to impact society in a positive way by volunteering their time to worthy causes. “We are currently collecting donations for the communities in which we will hold our ECD workshops and anyone interested in donating can visit https://www.thundafund.com/project/ecdeducatorworkshop.”