Durban, South AfricaSingakwenza, which means “We can do it!” in isiZulu, knows how vitally important it is for children, especially those under the age of five, to have as many opportunities to learn through play as possible in order to build and maximize their brain potential, and has therefore developed a large number of toys and teaching aids made purely from recycling.

The educator only needs a pair of sharp scissors and a marker pen, and she will be able to get all the rest of the materials needed to provide an educational, fun-filled classroom for the children in her care - from the bin! Bread bags become skipping ropes, polystyrene vegetable trays become puzzles, yoghurt containers become shape sorters, and margarine containers become cars.

The Emirates Airline Foundation recognized the value of this sustainable programme and is helping Singakwenza to expand their reach into many impoverished areas, making this their first South African NGO partner.

In addition, the Emirates Airline Foundation is assisting with funding the training of more Zulu women to become mentors to work alongside caregivers in their crèches. These mentors help the caregivers to understand why it is so important for children to learn through play as well as how to implement the Early Childhood Development programme. After two years of hands-on support, the mentors slowly withdraw from the crèche, leaving an educated caregiver with a classroom full of sustainable educational materials, which are easy (and free) to replace if they break.

Thanks to Singakwenza and the Emirates Airline Foundation, many children under the age of five in South Africa have a better chance at a brighter future.

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