After our successful experience in 2018 on a similar project for the Tshikuyu Village, HAIELLE has decided to join efforts again with the Baobab Foundation to support the campaign to build the Dambale Pre-School.

With every purchase of Haielle products, you will be donating 10% to the campaign and you will also receive a 10% Discount for contributing to this initiative. To participate, apply the promo code DAMBALE at checkout.

Here is why we decided to support this cause:

A typical day in the life of a Venda woman

If you’re a woman in rural Venda in the Limpopo, the northern-most province in South Africa, then it’s very likely you’re the head of the family. You will spend your days busy with numerous tasks such as growing crops, trading in small goods, wild-harvesting foods such as Baobab, Marula, Moringa and brown ivory fruits (Munee), collecting firewood and water.

Often, your work will take you away from your village and then you have a dilemma: either you take your small children with you (not always practical or safe) or you leave them in the care of one or two other village women. This is how informal pre-schools are created.

Like all pre-schoolers, these very small children need nourishing food, a warm, clean and cozy place to nap, toys and safe play areas; however the reality in a typical Venda village is harshly different. Up to 50 children can be crammed into a tiny room with little more than a hard concrete floor, surrounded by dusty unfenced grounds and, if they’re lucky, an old car tire to play with.

The village women who care for these children do not have a background in early childhood development; as a result, the young children are not properly prepared by the time they get to school-going age.

Venda women walk for kilometers carrying water and other goods for their families’ sustenance

Dambale Village: where small children have nowhere to go

Surrounded by baobab trees, Dambale is a picturesque village in rural Venda where over 95% of the approximately 4,500 residents are unemployed and rely on subsistence agriculture, remittances, collecting wild foods, and government grants for their livelihoods.

Led by chief Azwihangwisi Patrick Nedambale, the Dambale community does not have a pre-school for their 50-70 young children aged 1-6. All they currently have are two tiny rooms, no toilets, no kitchen and no resources at all for the children. The Baobab Foundation has decided to support the community by building a new pre-school from the ground up.

Dr Sarah Venter (Baobab Foundation) meets with Gloria Khorombi (chairperson of the community pre-school committee) Johanna Ravhembelani (pre-school principal) and Jessica Ndou (pre-school teacher) outside their current building to discuss building a proper pre-school

What We Need to Build a Pre-school

Dambale village is highly committed to creating a pre-school for their children! The premises for the new pre-school have already been identified by the chief and the community has elected a committee to oversee the building of the school.

Our first requirement is to build a fence to demarcate the area. This is so once we begin building, it becomes a safe construction site for the delivery of building materials. A fence is needed to keep the children safely inside while keeping animals – especially livestock such as goats and donkeys – out.

The allocated land for the new pre-school

We’re aiming to build three classrooms (including equipment such as tables, chairs, blankets, cupboards and so on) as well as a baby room for the very young children to sleep, a covered open-plan area for children to play and where they can eat their lunch. This area will provide shade as well as a protected area when it’s raining. We’ll need a kitchen (including equipment) storeroom and child-friendly toilets. We’re also going to need playground equipment, water tanks and signage.

The total required budget is $16,280.

The Dambale Pre-School campaign

The foundation has already received a generous donation of $1,000 from Protec Botanica which will go towards building the fence. EcoProducts will contribute their truck for collection and deliveries of materials and will project-manage the building.

We’re aiming at completion by November 2020! We’d be so grateful for any contribution – large or small – towards this important social upliftment project. We’ll share our progress and updated photographs, knowing that your donation has made a real difference in the lives of many people.