Support for the Kindergarten Teacher Project in Cape Town
South Africa needs about 20 000 more Kindergartens and therefore about 100 000 more well-trained teachers. At the Centre for Creative Education (CCE) about 100 kindergarten student teachers are trained every year. The aim is to train even more.
The challenge the CCE faces, is that most of the adults who come to learn to be Kindergarten teachers at the CCE do not have the money to pay for the training or can only pay very little. To help them the CCE has a ‘Sponsor a Kindergarten Teacher Project’. The costs to train one Kindergarten teacher is 3,000 euros.
By training one Kindergarten teacher 300 children can have an experience of the good things learnt through Waldorf training every year. The number of 300 children is counting all the different children each teacher is in contact with, the children in her class, and those she has an effect on indirectly - what she brings in her daily way of being is carried through the people she spends time with to other children - the brothers and sisters of children in her class, children in the rest of the Kindergarten school, children where she lives, at her church and any clubs she is involved in, like singing or sports.
“The more teachers we train the more children there will be who are safer, happier, learning like you do. We are grateful for any donations – every little bit makes a big difference.”
About the project:
In South Africa 9.4 percent of all the people in the country are children between the ages of Birth to 4 years old. Only 17.4 percent of these children are in a Kindergarten, receiving quality care and education. Many children grow up in overcrowded township areas, where there are not enough Kindergartens for the number of children. Many children either must stay alone indoors or with grandparents, or neighbours, who are busy and cannot give the children good attention nor play with them. Many young children spend their days sitting or wandering on the narrow dusty and dirty streets outside their homes, where motor vehicles are being driven or in the few park areas. But even those are not safe places to play, as there is a lot of litter and rubbish, and often broken glass lying on the ground, and there are many unhappy and angry people who are not friendly and not kind to young children.
Many of the adults who work at Kindergartens that are in township areas have not had a proper training of how to work well with children and many have had very difficult and troubled lives themselves. Most of them have not had the chance to go to a good school, have never been to a Waldorf school, and did not enjoy being at school. They want their own children and children in their communities to be able to play and learn like children in better circumstances do, like children who have been taught by a Waldorf-trained teacher, to learn with and through the games and songs and stories and craft and art that a Waldorf-trained teacher can bring. They want to learn how to work well with children, to become trained Waldorf teachers so they can be part of bringing the Waldorf approach to learning to more children.
The Centre for Creative Education (CCE) is a school for adults to learn how to be Kindergarten, and Primary school teachers and Eurythmy teachers. The CCE teacher-training college has 52 staff members. Nine staff work in the Kindergarten training department. They train teachers with the goal of bringing the Waldorf understanding of children, and teaching approach to children, teaching adults how to create safe child-friendly learning spaces. In this way more children can have trained, confident teachers who enjoy their work watching over children who feel seen, play freely, experience beauty in their classrooms and outside spaces, experience nature, learn to grow their own vegetables, to sew, draw and paint, work with beeswax and clay, to cook and bake, doing daily chores together, listening to stories and acting out stories from their own cultural histories and life experiences, looking at or reading picture books, playing with blocks and puzzles, acting out make-believe games; following a rhythm of kind, loving care.
If children get a chance to grow and learn in this way, they can be confident and happy, are able to work well with others, and can more easily do anything they decide to do when they are grown up – to create a loving and peaceful world.
Most of the adults who come to learn to be teachers do not have the money to pay for the training or can only pay very little. To help them to train to be teachers we have a ‘Sponsor a Kindergarten Teacher Project’ – we need to raise 3,000 euros to train just one Kindergarten teacher.
You can help more adults become teachers like Maria Msebenzi, who is now the Head of the Kindergarten training department at the Centre for Creative Education. Maria knows what it is like to live in a township community and what teachers and children in township communities need. Maria studied through the Centre for Creative Education and used to be a Kindergarten teacher in Khayelitsha township for five years. Maria joined the Waldorf training college because she wanted to learn more and train more people how to be Waldorf Kindergarten teachers so all South African children, and many more children in township areas, could have a Waldorf approach to schooling experience. Maria has been lecturing at the teacher training college for 21 years. She has worked hard over the years to make the dream of sharing the Waldorf approach to teaching and learning with more adults and children. She is an inspiring role model, working well with everyone in her kind, gentle way.