Plastic City toddlers in good hands after Shoprite gives preschool an upgrade

Plastic City toddlers in good hands after Shoprite gives preschool an upgrade

Pupils of Blessings Eco Preparatory School in Brakpan were overjoyed when they moved into their new school building in time for International Children’s Day on 1 June. Images: Supplied

Teletubbies Daycare in Brakpan was founded by two sisters who are passionate about looking after children and giving them a headstart in life.

A preschool in Brakpan with extremely humble beginnings has received a boost, thanks to the Shoprite Group and the Early Care Foundation, to provide the school with early childhood development and sound infrastructure.

The Blessings Eco Preparatory School, which was later renamed Teletubbies Daycare, was founded by sisters Jessie and Hlengiwe Nkosi in 2015. It started out in a shack made from found material and was inspired by a tragic tale that is unfortunately not unique in Plastic City.

The creche before the makeover at Plastic City.

A one-year-old toddler called Blessing nearly died after drinking drain fluid because her parents had left her with a friend in order to collect litter for recycling at the landfill site in the area. When the Nkosis heard of the story, they decided to take it upon themselves to create a safe space to take care of the pre-schoolers of Plastic City.

“The community of Plastic City rallied and got her to the hospital in time for her life to be saved,” said Jessie. “I heard this terrible story and decided to create a safe place in which I could take care of the pre-schoolers in Plastic City.”

The daycare centre initially catered for ten children up to five years old, but has since expanded to be able to care for 29. Little Blessing, who had such a difficult start in life, is one of these children.

The Shoprite Group, upon hearing of the good work done by the Nkosi sisters, took the opportunity to join forces with the Early Care Foundation to assist the school, providing early childhood development training to the Nkosis and carers from five other pre-schools in Brakpan.

In addition, each learner will receive a nutritious meal for the next year, thanks to the Lunchbox Fund, while Shoprite and its implementation partner, Food and Trees for Africa, works on creating a food garden for the daycare centre.

Shoprite also provided Teletubbies with two new containers to serve as a classroom, kitchen, and office.

Lunga Schoeman, Shoprite Group CSI Spokesperson; Rowland Naylor, Brakpan Shoprite Branch Manager; Jessie and Hlengiwe Nkosi, Founders of Blessing Eco Preparatory School; Yakima and Ernest Waner. Image: Supplied

Lunga Schoeman, CSI spokesperson for the Shoprite Group, said: “Watching everyone work together to ensure that these learners are taken care of in a safe, secure environment has been very gratifying. At Shoprite we seek to empower and support women like Jessie and Hlengiwe Nkosi – women raising the next generation.”

Jessie enthused: “We still can’t believe how generous Shoprite has been to us. We’re very grateful for all the support we received and so happy that we are able to take better care of our children.”

(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)

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