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December 2019

Dear friends and supporters of Friends of Thandolwethu, as it has been one year since the founding of our organization, we would like to take this opportunity to update you on our progress thus far.

Most importantly, we would like to thank you for believing in and supporting this initiative, aimed at opening an Early Childhood Education Centre in Samora Machel (on the outskirts of Cape Town). Your contributions are greatly appreciated, and we hope you will continue to follow and support us.

First steps
From August 2017...

After their trip to Italy in August 2017, where they visited Reggio Emilia and became inspired by its approach to Early Learning, Mzi, Sbosh and Wendy’s dream began to be realised when the Friends of Thandolwethu NPO was established in September 2018. September 2018

Following a few meetings with the Samora Machel Team to discuss ideas, formulate processes, and draft needs and goals, our group of volunteers enthusiastically began working on developing and growing this project.

The team in South Africa held meetings and site inspections with the architect to plan the design and construction of the building for the centre; we researched and evaluated options in relation to costs, building materials and other requirements. We set up a webpage, a Facebook profile and fundraising page.

Facebook page
Fund raising page
Initiatives and events
October 2018

During a visit to Italy, one of our members organised a “solidarity aperitivo” initiative to introduce the project to friends and acquaintances; in that period we also submitted our request for patronage to the City of Reggio Emilia, who welcomed and approved it.

February 2019

In Cape Town, we organised a guided tour to introduce the Samora Machel environment to some of the project’s supporters.

March 2019

We introduced the Friends of Thandolwethu NPO and the project to the Consul of Italy in Cape Town, Emanuele Pollio.

March 2019

It is a pleasure for us to share that Wendy has started her course of studies for a Bachelor of Education Degree at Cape Town University. Thanks to your contributions, the association could cover the costs of this crucial education, which will provide her with the qualifications necessary for running the Early Childhood Education Centre. Wendy completed her second semester exams a few days ago and our team is offering her our full support to ensure that she is able to complete the degree.

May 2019
Seminar “What is a Reggio Emilia and Decolonizing Inspired Approach to Early Learning and how appropriate is it in the context of Cape Town?”

The seminar, aimed at parents, teachers, students, academics and volunteers, had the goal of discussing teaching practices inspired by the “Reggio Emilia Approach” and based on the pedagogic dialogue, offering practical examples and sparking open conversations among the participants. The proceeds were donated to Friends of Thandolwethu Association, which used them in part to organise a workshop on the same theme in Samora Machel, for the benefit of local teachers and volunteers interested in participating in the development of the Early Childhood Education Centre. Those opportunities to reflect on our practices were extremely important, since we do believe in the importance of adapting the Reggio Emilia approach to the local context, and articulating it in ways that take into consideration the everyday situation of
Samora Machel.

Link of event on our website
June 2019

We introduced the Friends of Thandolwethu NPO and our project to the Italian Community of Cape Town, during a visit by the incoming Ambassador of Italy to South Africa, Paolo Cuculi.

September 2019
Solidarity lunch in celebration of the association’s first birthday

Chef Lapo Magni of Lapo’s Kitchen created an innovative six course menu for our guests, using ethical and sustainable products. All proceeds went to the Association Friends of Thandolwethu.

Link event on our website
October 2019
We invite you to watch the video from the workshop, created by our association
Workshop “Kids as Seeds of Change”, in collaboration with Paco Design Collaborative (Milan)

As part of the Open Design Afrika festival, a group of volunteers and aspiring educators spent a week preparing this workshop for children. After the workshop, we led a walkabout in Samora Machel to show some of our stakeholders the community as well as the location where the Early Childhood Development Centre may be built.

Link of event on our website
Continue to follow us!

We hope to be able to include architectural plans for the Centre in our next newsletter, so that you can see what progresses have been made. Meanwhile, we assure you of our full commitment in proceeding with dedication and enthusiasm to realize the opening of this Centre in an area where, due to lack of facilities, many kids do not have learning opportunities.

As you can imagine, the path ahead is full of challenges and responsibilities. We continue to rely on your help!

With the patronage of

Friends of Thandolwethu NPO

19 Devon St. Woodstock, Cape Town
South Africa


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