Centre looks after child development
Mariveni Village in Letsitele, Limpopo, is proud about the oasis that the Tinhlari Day Care Centre has become since its establishment almost eight years ago.
Before Tinhlari, which is run by Elizabeth Manzini, was launched, the community lived in fear of several dangers to their children.
These dangers included drowning in the two rivers nearby - the Letaba and Ridzindele - and a canal used by local farmers.
The other danger is being exposed to hit-and-run incidents on the busy road that runs across the village.
There is also the risk of being abused, neglected, or abandoned because of unemployment, dysfunctional families and households infected or affected by HIV-Aids.
It is no wonder that Tinhlari Day Care Centre came out tops in the home-based centre of the year category of last year's Early Childhood Development Achiever Awards.
These awards are sponsored and organised by Absa Bank, Sowetan, South African Congress for Early Childhood Development (ECD), the Office of the Rights of the Child in the Presidency, and are endorsed by the national Department of Education.
The awards are in their 11th year. They seek to search for, recognise and acknowledge the inspirational and motivational trendsetters in the ECD arena.
They also encourage ECD practitioners to seek appropriate education, training and qualifications in this area, and for practitioners and ECD site owners to become accredited and registered with the education, health and social services authorities.
Looking after 83 children with the assistance of two teachers, a cook and a groundsman, Tinhlari is registered with the Limpopo Social Services Department.
It enjoys overwhelming community support as a haven for children who need care in the area.