After answering a calling to do something bigger and more fulfilling, well-known Amalinda Forest early childhood development practitioner Nondumiso Mpitimpiti has helped to change and shape many lives at her safe haven, where she cares for more than 100 children.
She walked away from a well- paying management job at Telkom to pursue her passion: helping those less fortunate and the vulnerable.
And now, not only does she foster children and educate them at her Step Ahead Child Centre, but she also offers training to adults to obtain their NQF level 4 in early childhood development training.
The 54-year-old Haven Hills resident on Tuesday added another business to her chain when she opened up a tea garden for the community members.
The tea garden also acts as a source of income to support the 60 children, who are not covered by the Department of Social Development.
“We are in a disadvantaged area and I decided to open up the tea garden to offer the people here a place to enjoy freshly baked goods and a nice cup of tea.
“We have these beautiful tea gardens in town, so why can’t we have it here too? Even we in the community can enjoy something like this,” Mpitimpiti said.
She also has a bakery on the premises, which opened in December last year. She and her husband also started a church on the premises 20 years ago.
Earlier this year, Mpitimpiti won the Ultimate Cleanliness and Hygiene Award during Smarties Week where she was granted R100000 to upgrade her bakery and open the tea garden.
“We won the money but Clover Mama Africa doesn’t give us the whole sum, they buy the equipment we need and so far we have used about 90% of it.
“We have a new extractor fan installed, a fridge and oven as well as all the tables, chairs and umbrellas for the tea garden,” she said.
Due to the need in the community, Mpitimpiti decided to give up her managerial position at Telkom and devote her time to helping out in her community.
“I was born and raised in Duncan Village C-section and I always saw these little children running around and I said to myself I need to do something.
“After my first creche was established five years ago, I relaxed but then I started thinking how I could be involved in other child development in the region. “I feel very happy that we are impacting little kids’ lives like this.”