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Pam Golding Properties East London Garden Competition Spawns Unexpected Spin-offs For Local Creches

A garden competition launched last year (2011) by Pam Golding Properties East London office in order to raise funds for local charities has brought about further unexpected benefits for over 100 crèches in the local community.

Says Hanlie Bassingthwaighte, area principal for Pam Golding Properties (PGP): “Irene Erasmus, winner of the medium-sized garden category in last year’s garden competition is the co-ordinator of the Buffalo City Child Care and Development Association.  This association, founded and headed by Ann Mpitipiti, 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.

“When Irene heard that our garden competition will this year (22 and 23 September 2012) incorporate a category for township gardens, 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 Pam Golding Properties backpack for them to carry their files. In addition, Lone Oak Seedlings donated seedlings and fertilizer for the crèches.”

 “Needless to say, the needs of these crèches are huge, as they need 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,” says Bassingthwaighte.

Seeing the little children regularly hanging around the refuse tips in Amalinda - an area in central East London situated between the suburbs and the industrial area of Wilsonia - Irene Erasmus decided to take action. She began a registered crèche for these children – the Uthixo Ulungeli Ministry, which is now located near the Stoney Drift Amalinda refuse dump and which caters for 18 children. The primary aim of the ministry is to support and strengthen an early childhood development programme in and around East London. It is through this project that she came to be involved with Ann Mpitipiti of the Buffalo City Child Care and Development Association.

Adds Bassingthwaighte: “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.

“However, in the interim, anyone wishing to donate items to the crèches can contact our PGP offices on 043 7054000 or email eastlondon@pamgolding.co.za, or contact Irene Erasmus on behalf of the Buffalo City child care and development association on 073 074 1001 or email irenerasmus@mweb.co.za,”  she says.


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