We have been involved in the the social space now for sometime and we have been very fortunate to work with some incredible people from all walks of life in South Africa. Over the last few months Bigger Than Me has been hard at work helping to produce and curate the digital media content for Cipla South Africa and Cipla Foundation SA on their 1st June 2016 launch of the Ajuga Early Childhood Development centre in Bhuga, Kabokweni in the Mpumalanga province. Next week will be doing more of the same and launching the next ECD in Limpopo.
Just to paint the picture on the current crisis facing South Africa and in Bhuga, Kabokweni. In South Africa there are thousands of ECD centres nationwide, registered and unregistered. Many are operated from a house or part of a house, including a garage or shack. There are approximately 6.5 million children aged 0 to 6 years old. approx 59% who are living in circumstances of extreme poverty. In Kabokweni there are 40,000 people with a 95% unemployment rate and above the national average teenage pregnancies and HIV.
Early Childhood Development centres are critical in child development, especially within the first 1000 days from conception. The balance between early learning and stimulation and the provision of health and nutrition is necessary to ensure that children receive a holistic ECD experience.
The launch of this centre was truly an inspirational day for everyone at the Cipla Foundation and of course Bigger Than Me. To be able to help the youth of this community and bring about significant and sustainable change with the support of the Deputy Minister of Social Development – Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu means that the Cipla Foundation journey in this community has just started.
Its makes the Cipla Foundation’s goal of rolling out the Ajuga Early Childhood Developments centres throughout rural South Africa a reality, something that is tangible and makes the road ahead easier if we travel it together as South Africans towards a common destination.
This challenge is just one of many facing our beautiful country and the more we are involved with projects like this it becomes increasingly apparent that the ordinary man on the street has had enough and is now prepared to do what ever it takes to change their current living situation and highlighting their plight for many South Africans is to turn to violence as we have seen so much of lately in the media which now looks like is going to be censored leading up to the local elections by various parties protecting their small universe. Watch this space!
The road ahead for South Africa is most certainly unknown but for us at Bigger Than Me we have seen a very special light that glows in some of the most affected areas around our country and its this huge potential we all have within ourselves to take responsibility for where we are as individuals and how we shape the events that we find ourselves in. We have to work together and build change, its the only way forward but it all starts with the individual making that conscious choice. It really is chosen to be Bigger Than Me.
We would like to thank everyone involved at the Cipla Foundation for letting Bigger Than Me play a part in this incredible project and look forward to building the futures of our young children in our country……together.