Raising future leaders begins early and requires meaningful, nation-building partnerships, such as that between Absa and the Sowetan Early Childhood Development Awards.
This nation building programme involves Absa, Sowetan, the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation, South African Congress for Early Childhood Development (ECD), Department of Education, Office of the Rights of the Child in The Presidency and SABC Education.
Provincial nominees stand to win in several categories:
lECD practitioner of the year;
lHome-based care centre of the year;
lCommunity-based care centre of the year;
lAnd resource and training centre of the year.
All provincial winners' prizes are aimed at assisting in their academic development and providing equipment for their centres.
National finalists will attend workshops on financial literacy, assisting practitioners in registering their ECD centres and guiding winners, ECD practitioners and ECD centre managers on how to raise funds.
"We are committed to making sure these amazing and selfless, individuals and groups are equipped with skills, finances and tools to make their valuable work sustainable," says Jacqueline de Winnaar of Absa's group public affairs for corporate social investment projects.
Provincial eliminations will take place at the following venues on the stipulated dates:
lDurban, KwaZulu-Natal, on May 15;
lBloemfontein, Free State, on May 22;
lMafikeng, North West, on May 23;
lKimberley, Northern Cape, on May 29;
lEast London, Eastern Cape, on June 5;
lCape Town, Western Cape, on June 6;
lPolokwane, Limpopo, on June 13;
lJoburg, Gauteng, on June 19;
lNelspruit, Mpumalanga, on June 20.