Lindelwa Pre-School sits in Elukwatini, a small township in Mpumalanga about two hours’ drive from Nelspruit. Here, in January of 2014, founder and principle Nomsa Mkhonto created a haven out of what might be called thin air. The setting? An abandoned house, which is the structure Nomsa and her team use to this day.
Other pre-schools existed in the area, but for children to be able to reach them they would have to cross a river. Mostly, parents wouldn’t risk it and young children were left home alone or wandering the streets while their parents worked (if they were some of the lucky few with jobs) or drank and loitered (if they weren’t).
Nomsa has a team of four who help – two teachers, a cook, and a gardener. Together, they nurture and feed 46 children between the ages of 2 and 5, keeping them safe from the dangers of the township in the process. They follow a grade R program and do their best to prepare their students for the school years which lie ahead.
The team dream of finishing the broken-down building which currently serves as their school, and creating a playground for their beneficiaries to find respite from their dark home lives.
Currently, only about 20 out of the 46 students’ parents pay the monthly fee of R100. Zanele Maseko, one of Lindelwa’s teachers, often goes around to the primary and high schools in the area to ask for pap and tinned food to be able to feed the children. Lindelwa receives no support from the government.
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