Sinethemba preschool in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth opened its doors this morning. It had to shut down after it caught fire in January when children who played a few metres away lost control of their firecrackers and mistakenly burned down the only creche in the area.
The creche was built from wooden boards, poles and metal sheets
The creche, owned by three elderly women who are educators,did not have sponsors at the time.
It is located on Sakwatcha Street, the crèche is close to the Crossroad taxi rank, making it convenient for working parents from across Motherwell. It charges a nominal fee of R120 per child per month.
There was a lot of concern after the fire accident. One of the owners, Fikiswa Joyi, was worried about where they would get the money to rebuild the creche.
“We can’t charge more because this is a poor community where many people depend on social grants while others work as domestic workers. We don’t receive funding. The books were the first assistance we had,” she said.
Another owner, Mavis Slamse, said furniture, goods and books were burnt. She estimated they would need more than R40 000 to rebuilt the creche and buy the material.
But their luck soon changed.
Donations poured in. St Marks Church in Kabega contributed construction materials. Workers at Discovery Health contributed flooring material, food and children’s toys, among other things.
Sam Huysamen, a representative of the company said, “We have plans to establish a gardening project at the back of the crèche.”
“We were teaching kids at our houses until we opened the place last week. We are really grateful to all people who helped us. The place is now much bigger and safer for children to play,” said Slamse
“However, we are still short of furniture,” she said.
There were 85 children enrolled at the creche.
This story was first published by GroundUp.
We have edited it.