Slovo Centre of Excellence, a beacon of hope
Through its social investment arm, Transnet Foundation, Transnet (SOC) Limited continues to invest in community projects that instils hope and brings back wide smiles to the faces of the Slovo Park underprivileged.
The Slovo Centre of Excellence located in the Slovo Park informal settlement, with approximately 7 000 residents living in shacks, has been a beacon of hope to the down trodden as well as the disillusioned community. Children remain in severe risk from lack of sanitation, lack of play areas and safe spaces outside school hours.
Because of the high level of unemployment, poverty has resulted in malnutrition among children, as well as emotional stress and poor health overall. The centre identified an urgent need to support pre-school and after school activities in the area, supported by a group of volunteers and a small team of paid staff. On a normal day, the centre caters for approximately 100 -120 children, and more during school holidays.
The Slovo Centre of Excellence Project Director, Lorraine Cockrell says the centre has identified the need to utilise its After School Care Centre, to work on programmes that will add value to its beneficiaries’ need to understand basic English Language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
“Through Transnet's funding in 2012, we were able to implement these programmes. With funding granted for 2013, we want to take this to another level, and have called in a professional Service Provider, to restructure our entire After School Care programmes, to coincide with each other,” says Cockrell.
The four programmes that will coincide are called Fun with English, Toy Library, Play and Learn for the little toddlers and finally AWANA Club, which is a recreational, social and spiritual programme that will happen on a Sunday afternoon. Special training is being undertaken by facilitators from the young adults of the Slovo Park community, and they will facilitate these programmes after their training, under the supervision by the Service Provider.
“We are most grateful to Transnet Soc (Pty) Limited for their financial support of our project through their donations scheduled from 2012 - 2014, as we comply with the development of the beneficiaries, doing what we are doing for their benefit and wellbeing.
“The premises donated to us by Transnet Properties are most suitable for the implementation of our programmes. We are now just planning to work on the renovations required, to get us going full swing with the programmes.”
Transnet Foundation Senior Manager: Grants, Lindi Tshilingalinga says Transnet believes that this programme is supportive of its thinking and values of giving support to the communities within which the company operates.
The programmes, such as its after school programme; school holiday programme; nutrition support; school placement and remedial classes; and spiritual programmes are supportive of our belief of extending as much resources to the moulding of the next generation within those underprivileged communities of our society.
Transnet (SOC) Limited has donated six hundred thousand rand spread over 3 years at two hundred thousand rand per annum for the 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years for the core programmes mentioned above.