Last year, Pam Golding Properties East London organised a garden competition to raise funds for local charities. Its winner of the medium-sized garden category, Irene Erasmus, has this year encouraged 100 crèches to enter and the property company is assisting them in this endeavour.
"Erasmus is the co-ordinator of the Buffalo City Child Care and Development Association, founded and headed by Ann Mpitipiti, which runs an Early Child Development training course for various teachers, owners and minders from between 100 and 150 local crèches - each of which looks after 100 to 150 children," explains Hanlie Bassingthwaighte, area principal for the agency.
"When Irene heard that our garden competition will incorporate a category for township gardens this year, she began encouraging all these women to beautify their vegetable gardens, from which they feed the children, in order to enter the competition.
"We were bowled over, so we proceeded to buy a garden fork for each of the representatives from these crèches plus a branded backpack for them to carry their files. In addition, Lone Oak Seedlings donated seedlings and fertilizer for the crèches.
"The needs of these crèches include mattresses, tables and chairs, jungle gyms, sand pits, paper, cardboard, paint and paint brushes, blankets, cupboards and shelving, among other items. However over and above this, the Buffalo City child care and development association is starting a resource centre, which will act as a library for education toys, so they also need puzzles, Lego, Duplo, wooden blocks, educational games, dominoes and books for children up to five years of age.
"The enthusiasm of the budding gardeners is already paying dividends and the crèche gardens are making good progress. As a result we hope to have about 30 entries for the township category of the garden competition."
In the interim, anyone wishing to donate items to the crèches can contact the Pam Golding East London offices on +27 (0) 43 705 4000, email or contact Irene Erasmus on +27 (0) 73 074 1001 or email .
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