In January 2017, Work For Love opened a pre- and primary school at the Work For Love Centre with a Kindergarten and a Grade 1 class. Each year we will add another class until we have a full primary school. The classes will stay relatively small so that the children get the individual attention they need while at the same time enjoying the opportunity of being part of a class of friends that they will come to know very well.
The Work For Love School is situated on a lovely property that borders Masiphumele. There is a big lawn on which to play and do classroom-related activities, as well as a spectacular view of the mountains just beyond the wetlands. It is a children's paradise.
But just a few metres from our threshold lies a place that is far from being a paradise, not only for the children but for everyone who lives there. Masiphumele is a struggling community, rife with poverty and unsanitary living conditions. Work For Love already caters to this community with adult skills development programmes and is now expanding to include a kindergarten and a primary school. Children from Masiphumele who cannot afford to attend schools beyond their community are extremely disadvantaged. The schools are overwhelmed with numbers and the lessons are in Xhosa, which means that there are serious disadvantages for these students when they enter the workplace or move to an English medium school and their English is not at a level considered to be acceptable. They are, more often than not, required to repeat grades if they move to an English medium school and, should they graduate from one of their local schools, the chances of qualifying for tertiary education are slim.
One of the primary goals of the Work For Love school is to give children from neighbouring disadvantaged communities the opportunity to learn through the medium of the English language (and thereby learn a lot about first world culture) while at the same time exploring and celebrating their own African heritage through stories, songs and dances that can be incorporated into the curriculum. One of the subjects they will study is Xhosa. In this way we can build a gentle bridge that will lead them across the educational divide that so many of the people in our country are struggling to cross. The school's primary beneficiaries are the children of participants in our learn to earn skills and enterprise development programme.
At Work For Love we believe in teaching the whole child. What this means is that we do not treat the child as a head that needs to be filled with information. The child is a full human being and therefore we teach the whole child through methods that appeal to their minds, their hearts and their wills.
A teacher's job is to help the child to understand the world around them and how to navigate it. Our teaching is based on the Waldorf educational impulse which bases its curricula on the young child's phase of development in each year. The curriculum is designed to help the child through each phase of development so that they are prepared for the world and are empowered to lead fulfilling lives.
Our dream is to be able to provide our skills and enterprise development students (parents) from the neighbouring disadvantaged communities with the opportunity for their children to attend a top-class school, with all the facilities and resources that one would expect at such a school. Most of our adult students cannot afford the fees and we are, therefore, offering them bursaries until they are able to earn and become contributing parents. In order for us to make this dream a reality we need your help. If our initiative is something you feel you would like to support please select a sponsorship option on the right panel. There are options to sponsor a particular child, to sponsor a class, a family or to sponsor the organization as a whole. Even the smallest contribution will help to put a child through school and empower a family to contribute. Your help is invaluable.
Work For Love volunteers have been assisting in township preschools since our inception in 2005. In 2008, a group of mothers opened the Siyakhula Educare. In partnership with Work For Love these mothers were able to develop the Siyakhula preschool into the quality Waldorf initiative preschool it is today.
Since 2007, Work For Love has been supporting the training of pre- and primary school teachers from Masiphumelele by offering bursaries to attend the Centre For Creative Education. Since 2012, Work For Love in partnership with the CCE has been offering Early Childhood Development Teacher Enrichment Courses as well as NQF Level 4 accredited training.
In 2012, when we bought the beautiful property that is now the Work For Love home we were inspired by our vision of a primary school that would offer ongoing quality education to the children from the Siyakhula Educare and from our learn to earn students and to create jobs for the teachers we had trained. In 2017 this dream finally became reality.
Find out more about how the Siyakhula Preschool began back in 2008 and how it developed under Work For Love's support and mentorship by reading 'The Story of Luvo' and the latest Siyakhula Newsletter on the job creation page.
Sponsor a child today.
Sponsor a class today.
We are fortunate to have 20 children in our class one. This is the pioneering class, the group that will forever be a part of the foundation of the school.
We are fortunate to have 20 children in our Kindergarten. The children are from Masiphumelele Township and surrounding disadvantaged communities. We, at the Work For Love School, are committed to creating a legacy of schooling that addresses, directly, the difficulties that the children are facing. Based on experience, it is our conviction that Waldorf schooling is the most suited to address these issues.