Caption: For many children living in Cape Town’s informal settlements, their grandparents are one of their primary caregivers. Approximately 270 youngsters from Mustadafin Foundation’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres in Cape Town, treated and gave thanks to their grandparents on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 at the Foundation’s annual ‘Grandparents Day’.

It was a day of giving back for the children at Mustadafin Foudation’s four ECD Centres located in Delft, Khayelitsha (Site B and S-Section) and Manenberg. “Our main goal for 2016 is focused on education – ECD’s being a focal point. We are embarking on a holistic approach with our ECD centres, where we plan activities and excursions that teach our children fundamentals in a fun environment,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, Director at Mustadafin Foundation.

The ‘Grandparents Day’ festivities took place at all four ECD Centres, with approximately 100 grandparents being entertained with song, dance and gifts from the children aged between two and six years old. Most of the grandparents are direct family of the children or volunteers at the Foundation. The lively young ones spent the day learning, as the grandparents told stories and read from books.

“The aim of the day was to remind children to say thanks to their caregivers – most of them being their grandparents. With our ‘Grandparents Day’, it is important that children learn to respect elders and give thanks for the sacrifices some of their families have made. It is also a fun day for the grandparents; some of them live in dire, poor circumstances and do not have much to look forward to everyday,” mentions Johnstone-Cassiem.

One of the grandparents in attendance was overjoyed: “As a grandparent I felt warmth in my heart not knowing what my grandchild and Mustadafin planned for me. The few hours were great and all the surprises my grandchild gave me.’’

Mustadafin Foundation’s ECD Centres operate in some of the poorest areas in Cape Town. “With excursions and sustainable activities, children are positively stimulated to care for their neighbours and are moulded into self-reliant and self-sufficient citizens,” concludes Johnstone-Cassiem.

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