A message from Monica, Cotlands CEO

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A message from Monica, Cotlands CEO

As I reflect on this year, I cannot believe how rapidly and suddenly our world changed from one quarter to the next. Cotlands received a directive from the Department of Social Development (DSD) that all Early Childhood Development centres and partial care facilities should close from Wednesday, 18 March 2020 in response to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Cotlands closed all toy library and early learning playgroups in line with the circular sent out by the Department.

The wellbeing of our children during the lockdown was a major concern for us. The risk of the families that we service and our parents not having enough money to feed their children was high. On Friday, 3 April 2020 Cotlands joined over 40 NPOs & NGOs and signed a letter addressed to the President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting an increase of R500 per month to the Child Support Grant (CSG) for the next six-month period to help families deal with the shock of the COVID-19 crisis.

From our experience we believed this was the quickest and easiest intervention to protect millions of poor households, protect local economies and ensure food security for our marginalised communities. On Tuesday, 21 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in a statement further economic and social measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the aims of this package was to fund and provide relief to hunger and social distress.

Ensuring our children have good nutrition, access to proper health care and early learning opportunities are three vital factors that will ensure our children not only survive but thrive, especially during these difficult times. I am proud of our Cotlands team and the agility we have displayed a prompt response to our beneficiaries needs. Helping parents feed their young children and encouraging parents to continue following our data-free online early learning play-based activities at home has been positively received.

Thank you to our donors and sponsors for continuing to support Cotlands. We appreciate your loyalty and know that now more than ever, is when your contributions can help save, protect and change our children’s lives during this pandemic.