In March 2016, a year to date, the Penreach Umphakatsi project introduced the first ever Toy Library to the community of Msholozi, based at Khula- Khula Day-Care Centre. This Toy Library has been a success in the development of the centre based as well as non-centre based beneficiaries.
On the one-year anniversary of the first Umphakatsi Toy Library opening, Penreach is delighted to announce the opening of a second Toy Library, this time at Gugulethu Day-Care Centre.
The Toy Library will benefit non-centre based practitioners, as well as the ECD centre itself and the children from the Umphakatsi programme. The library will be equipped with toys and resources that are designed with the children’s holistic Early Childhood Development in mind. It is crucial for Penreach to assist in developing children’s cognitive, social and emotional, as well as gross and fine motor skills development.
Penreach will invite teachers and practitioners, four days in a month, on a Monday and Thursday to borrow toys, books, blocks, educational games, outdoor equipment and charts. Penreach furthermore provides hands on training in how to use the toys and resources effectively in Early Child Development.
The dates and times of opening the library are communicated to all stakeholders in the beginning of the year, so that they are aware of when to come to the Toy Library in advance, therefore they can plan their educational themes accordingly.
Penreach Field Advisors will continue to co-ordinate Activity Days throughout the year, where both the children from the non-centre based programme as well as the centre, enjoy activities that are valuable to their skills development, like painting, outdoor activities, playing with Legos etc.
Through the Umphakatsi project, a baseline study in 2015 had identified that in the Msholozi community less than 1% of households had any form of toy. The main consensus from the study was that caregivers did not see the importance of ECD and spending money on these items with their limited budgets. The Toy Libraries are contributing to dispelling these misperceptions in the community, as the resources of toys and information about ECD is available to the whole community.
The Penreach Umphakatsi project has thus far made a measurable impact in the community’s perception of the value in ECD. An impact so strong that 50 more children from the community are now going to ECD centres. Penreach aims to eventually hand over these Toy Libraries to the community in Msholozi and hope for the positive impact as of the first Umphakatsi Toy Library.