Early Childhood Development remains a fundamental driver in improving the personal and interpersonal development of any child. Despite this, in just over a year, Builders and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet have raised over R2 million in helping South Africans make their contribution towards the development of children. The partnership that was used to build and revamp local schools.

Many ECD facilities in South Africa function without basic infrastructure, such as running water, access to electricity or suitable sanitation. The nation-wide ECD audit of 2000 showed that about 8% of these centres don’t have the basic infrastructure requirements. According to Yasmin van den Hoven, Customer Experience Manager at Builders “together with MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet (MySVP), we started a successful partnership a year ago as a means to combat poverty-stricken areas and aid communities by enriching the lives of the underprivileged.”

Every time customers swipe their Builders Card, R2 gets paid to MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet. “The programme fits into the lives of customers effortlessly. There isn’t a hassle or tedious process and that’s why it works” Yasmin shares. “And, thanks to our customers, we have been able to provide more than 200 children hope, built ECD centres, conducted teacher trainings, and provided learning material” she adds. Here are three of main beneficiaries:

Zilungisele Primary School – over R300 000: in 2020, the joint efforts helped build 2 x Grade R classrooms, storage space, and a veranda to accommodate 66 Grade R students.

GROW Educare Centres- over R400 000: between November and February 2021, the partnership provided teaching consumables, equipped and empowered local women who run the 5-Star early learning centres, and sponsored early learner teacher’s training and mentorship.

Christel House School- over R1,6 Million: the funds raised here aided in the construction of three new ECD Grade RR Classrooms with modern ICT and furniture, which will ensure that over 60 Grade RR students aged between 4 and 5 from severely impoverished communities on the Cape Flats receive high-quality early education.

Since the beginning of lockdown, a knock has been felt in the early childhood development sector. A survey titled The Plight of the ECD works cites that between 20,000 to 30,000 early childhood development operators run the risk of closure, while up to 175,000 people in the ECD sector stand to lose their jobs in the absence of economic relief and as result, millions of children are at risk.

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“As retailers continue to seek exceptional business solutions and products or services, we also urge them to find ways to strengthen the communities around us and our businesses. It’s crucial that we do so, not only to sustain and protect the economy but also to enhance the potential of the future of tomorrow’s leaders” concludes Yasmin.