INTRODUCING THE THELELUWAZI CRECHE
Thanks to a generous donation from Lise Grendene, and in partnership with the Africa Foundation of andBeyond Phinda, Wild Tomorrow Fund was able to construct a brand new classroom for the Thelelulwazi Creche in Zululand, South Africa. This would not have been possible without Lise’s big heart, love for children and desire to give back. Read more about Lise and this project in our latest story below.
Nestled in the foothills of northern Zululand, overlooking False Bay (a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site iSimangaliso), lies a small local church. This was also where almost forty school children and two teachers from the local community spent their days, crammed into this small structure, using it as a daycare center outside of church Sundays. Slightly older children attended a primary school a fair distance away, which meant they had to cross the R22, one of the region’s busiest roads.
Driving on the R22 in the morning you would see groups of children huddling together, and older siblings holding the hands of their younger brothers and sisters while they waited for a gap to cross the highway safely…all unsupervised. Such a simple daily struggle should not befall on any children- especially those striving for a good education and a better life. This is the sight that greeted Lise Grendene when she joined Wild Tomorrow Fund on a fact-finding mission in Zululand last year.
Lise first was introduced to Wild Tomorrow Fund through a mutual acquaintance – together they hosted the first UK fundraising gala for Wild Tomorrow Fund in London of 2018. After the gala, Lise traveled to Zululand to witness first-hand our wildlife conservation and community support programs.
In addition to saving habitat and protecting wildlife, an important focus of Wild Tomorrow Fund’s work in the region is developing solutions for development challenges in partnership with the communities that live nearby protected wildlife reserves. For all of our community work, it is essential that the communities have ownership of each project and that it can in turn remain sustainable. This is where Lise saw her passion grow and knew she wanted to do more.
Lise and Wild Tomorrow Fund partnered with the Africa Foundation, the charity arm of &Beyond Phinda, as well as the Theleluwazi Creche Committee, to tackle two important areas for socioeconomic development: education and health. Introducing the Theleluwazi Creche of 2019!
“Giving children a good education is paramount”, says Lise. “Not only is this key to creating opportunities and better lives, but in our fast-changing world, it must play an even more important role. The serious threats we face as the human race will largely be borne by our children and grandchildren. We need to prepare them to be able to solve these incredibly difficult challenges- and that begins with education. Climate change, competition for resources, water scarcity, lack of employment opportunities and many other problems exist and will get worse, and through no fault of any of the children”.
“The very least we can do as adults is to ensure we educate our children properly to give them a chance in life” says Lise Grendene.
“Overpopulation is the root cause of most of these issues, and a good education is directly linked to a decrease in population rates. Good education also creates better leaders, and a populace that is stronger and more informed. It strengthens business, improves productivity and has the power to lift communities out of poverty.”
The school was built to the highest of standards and includes three waterless toilets, or “eco-loos”. The area donated by the community was large enough to allow for future plans to construct a play area, kitchen and even a primary school!
Lise dedicated the creche to her late grandmother, Odilia, and planted three indigenous trees in her memory. Lise says, “My grandmother was the strongest and yet most gentle woman I have ever known. She was the love of my life and I believe she will remain a beacon of hope for future generations of boys and girls”.