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    We have a crisis of childcare

    Sadly, many of our communities are very poor. Too many children are brought up by single parents, ill or dying parents, foster parents, elderly relatives, teenage mothers, or older brothers or sisters. Often these communities don't have access to good education and basic services. Child care, both in children’s centres and at home, is often inadequate, and even emotionally and educationally damaging.

    Simple survival and social problems often impair the ability of many parents to parent well. Children’s centres are often run by untrained staff who cannot provide even basic educare. And yet we know that children’s brains do most of their growing in their first 7 years, making it critical to provide them with stimulating, safe and nurturing educational experiences. These can provide building blocks for growth all the way to matric and beyond, and lay an essential foundation for "growing" effective citizens.

    What does the Flying Children programme do?

    • We work with childcare centres in disadvantaged areas on the West Rand of Gauteng, supporting the women who run them;
    • We do this through an intensive, three-year training programme that uses our own extensive set of materials;
    • We provide on-site mentoring in the centres where our students work, to ensure they provide good care to the children in their centres;
    • We "make over" each centre so that it has the basic play, educational and safety requirements for an educare centre;
    • Each centre takes in vulnerable children, as well as children from more stable homes.
    • We also train women who look after 0 to 3-year-olds in the centres;
    • Our work helps these centres become sought-after community facilities, makes the more viable and thereby creates sustainable jobs in ECD.

    Who is behind Flying Children?

    Flying Children is an NGO registered with the Department of Social Development as a Non-Profit Organisation (Registered 10/11/2011 with the NPO number 93139). It is also registered with the SA Revenue Service as a public benefit organisation, with the number 930 048 568. It grew out of similar work conducted with great success in the East London area with local organisations there, and has been working in Gauteng since 2011.

    The director

    Flying Children is the brainchild of Ms Lindy Harris. She is a trained and experienced pre-school teacher and art therapist, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhodes University, a Higher Education Diploma from Unisa, and a Diploma in Art Therapy from Hertfordshire College of Art in the UK.

    Ms Harris is registered with the Health Professions Council of SA as an art therapist. She developed the concept of Flying Children with schools and teachers in the East London area, and has provided art therapy for children at St Vincent’s School for the Deaf.

    The board

    • Adj Prof Franz Krüger, acting chair. Prof Krüger's day job is as head of the journalism department and director of the Wits Radio Academy at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (Contact him: fkr@mweb.co.za)
    • Ms Lindy Harris, director (ex officio)
    • Ms Thara Bahadur, who is an occupational therapist
    • Ms Emmah Mutimutema, who works for our partners, Africa Food for Thought
    • Ms Sally France, a retired nurse
    • Ms Grace Mabusela, pre-school teacher
    • Khanyi Ncube, staff representative

    Annual Reports