Monday, 25 November 2019

Waste 2 Toys - Emirates Airline Foundation supports Singakwenza NGO

Fouad Caunhye, Emirates Regional Manager, Southern Africa in front of Singakwenza NGO pwpt
Fouad Caunhye, Emirates Regional Manager, Southern Africa
This November we celebrate National Children's Day in South Africa, as well as being World Children's Day on 20 November. Emirates Foundation has a number of projects supporting children. The Singakwenza NGO is a Kwazulu-Natal based initiative that trains practitioners, parents and caregivers at grassroots level to provide fun educational activities to enable young children to learn through play. They use household waste to make toys and teaching resources. We attended a "Waste 2 Toys" workshop on Saturday, and it was an eye-opening experience.

The end goal is to help transform empty crèches and homes into educational and stimulating environments for children. Emirates Airline Foundation's support for the two year training and mentorship programme has so far helped provide nearly 5000 young children with a strong foundation, preparing them for formal schooling. The organisation has helped trained 2931 adults who can now provide opportunities for playful learning for the 49800 children in their care.

Julie Hay, Founder and Director of Singakwenza, highlights the importance of early childhood development, especially for children under the age of five. When you look at the graph of the Sensitive Periods in Early Brain Development (below), it becomes glaringly apparent that children can miss the boat even before they have started school. Children in disadvantaged areas therefore need desperate intervention to make sure they do not stay disadvantaged. The beauty of this project is that the teachers, caregivers and parents can be helped to make sure their children are learning skills at their optimal learning age.

Sensitive Periods in Early Brain Development - graph
Sensitive Periods in Early Brain Development - Council for Early Childhood Development
 The "Waste 2 Toys" workshop is a workshop that can be requested for a group of people who are involved with young children, and who are concerned about their future learning.



We were taught how to make a skipping rope from 48 bread bags. It is such a strong rope, and it can be used in multiple scenarios.

Julia Hay in Waste 2 Toys workshop
Julie Hay, Singakwenza, showing how to make a skipping rope
Girl cutting bread bag
Emirates Singakwenza Waste 2 Toys workshop

Bread bags being cut and made into a skipping rope
Emirates Singakwenza Waste 2 Toys workshop

Girl plaiting a skipping rope
Emirates Singakwenza Waste 2 Toys workshop
For more info Emirates Airline Foundation 

Thanks so much for hosting us, Emirates. Thanks so much for teaching us, Singakwenza.
We had a great time, and we now have two skipping ropes! :-)

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