Daycare centre warms kids’ hearts

DV woman’s ‘safe haven’ for little ones

ALONG a narrow makeshift street, tucked behind a spaza shop in Duncan Village, you’ll find Rising Sun Daycare.

Started four years ago by Nozie Mswi, Rising Sun is a safe haven for 30 little faces. This crèche, hidden away in a corner of our city, could not and would not have been sustained without the help and support it has gained through social media.

In 2015, Mswi contacted Taralyn McLean for support. From then, a great and successful partnership grew to sustain – and improve – the daycare to what it is today; a fully furnished and functioning daycare centre.

“When I first visited the daycare to drop off some food, I realised how easy it was for me to give, and how easy it would be for so many of my friends to give. So many people have such good hearts and are willing and genuinely determined to help those less fortunate, they just don’t know where or how to,” said McLean.

She became the bridge between this little daycare and its donors, enabling it to flourish. McLean appealed to Facebook friends from all over the world to assist – and within hours received positive responses and much – needed support.

“What’s amazing for me, is how a simple post on Facebook opened a window onto this little crèche worldwide. I have friends in Australia and the UK who are regular supporters and donors. It’s wonderful,” said McLean. Through Facebook, Rising Sun Daycare has gained the support of many companies and individuals who have made the success of the daycare a reality. “I am so grateful to everyone who has and continues to support us.

Mswi said: “People have given me so much. We have so many books and tables, chairs, toys and more clothes than I know what to do with.”

Parents, who are mostly underprivileged, only pay a small monthly fee of R150 and their children receive all the love and attention in return. They are also taught a pre-school curriculum in a safe environment. Despite this small fee, Mswi cares for many children from disadvantaged backgrounds and often parents are unable to pay. “I can’t turn them away, they need a place where they will be cared for,” said Mswi. “I have two helpers who I pay R750 each when I can and when the parents all pay; everything else comes from the good people who donate.”

Mswi does not receive a salary or stipend of any kind, as when – and if – there is money left over it is used for the crèche. “I am so satisfied. I don’t get any money, but I get to help these children,” said Mswi.

In December, only four children were able to meet the preschool fee and the daycare centre took a knock, making it difficult for her to provide all meals for the children.

“I would love to have food for the children on a regular basis,” said Mswi. “This is our biggest need right now. We make sure we can give them lunch and try to give breakfast as often as we can, but it is not always possible.”

With McLean’s connections and the good hearts the daycare has reached, Mswi is starting out on a new venture. She is in the process of starting a skills centre for the unemployed mothers of the children she looks after.

“These mothers have no source of income. I really want to teach them a skill, anything really, so they can earn money for their families,” said Mswi.

Once again, social media was the driving force that made this venture a reality; after stumbling upon a friend’s post, McLean found a big shipping container for sale. Through Facebook, McLean managed to raise the R12000 needed to buy and transport the container to Duncan Village.

It was, however, in a dreary state, but with the help of Donovan Mangold, of Terraforce, the container has a newly – tiled floor. A sign for the skills centre was also donated by Meg Devan of Local Yokel.

“It still needs some work, but we are ready,” said Mswi. I am really looking forward to starting the skills centre and I hope that we can get it going by the end of March.”

What started as a small business venture for Mswi, turned into something much greater for her community. With a resilient, never faltering partnership and connections McLean and Mswi have created and sustained, it continues to improve the lives of so many.

McLean and her friends are organising a “Back To School Disco” as a fundraiser for the Rising Sun Daycare. It takes place at the Beacon Bay Country Club on April 22. Tickets cost R100 and are available from Beacon Bay Country Club, or contact McLean on 082-722-5688.

BRINGING THE SUNSHINE IN: Nozie Mswi photographed with some of her little ones at her crèche, Rising Sun Daycare. Through Facebook, news of this little safe haven has reached people from around the world and the crèche now receives support from people from as far as Australia and the United KingdomPicture: MADELEINE CHAPUT

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