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With mounting excitement and a sense of anticipation the assembled ECD community awaited the arrival of the delivery truck bringing their Edutainer. No-one in the assembled group actually quite sure of what they were receiving as only the 2 preschool teachers had ever seen a picture of an Edutainer, let alone actually visited one.

In preparation for this wonderful event the community had selected a site that is situated between the local primary school and the clinic as the most suitable as it addressed the safety needs and health of the young children simultaneously. Many of the preschool children are walked home by their older siblings and long waits for immunization and other service at the clinic will be cut as the children can continue to participate in the ECD programme until it is their turn to be seen by a nurse.

As the truck rumbled into view, jaws dropped and after the initial look of astonishment the women burst into spontaneous ululating, rushing to make a human escort to lead the truck onto the site.

The truck was parked and, as if playing to an audience, the container was set in place and the proud practitioners posed in front of it to record this happy occasion.

Two days later the Principal dropped off the following letter of thanks and asked me to forward it to “the kind donors who had made this incredibly generous gift to the community”.

On the 6th February, a mere two weeks later, I conducted an impromptu visit to Outhay to see how they were settling into their new classroom after all these years going from pillar to post in “borrowed” premises. Now it was the turn of my jaw to drop in utter astonishment as I stood there not believing my own eyes. Not only had the playroom been set up and some outdoor equipment sourced, but a pit toilet had already been built, a few bricks bought and a labourer was digging a foundation for a small extension to be built in the future.

The explanation offered up by the community and expressed by the Principal was that “If we show the donors that we are willing to do our part to show that we really appreciate what they have done for us, and this has mobilised us a community to give our children a bright future, then maybe they will consider us again when they want to make improvements to the Edutainer’s sites”.

Having noted the consistent hard work and application to qualitative ECD implementation over the past nine years I can only concur that this community is one worthy of investment and I too, thank you for making this possible.

Fioni Murray