Message from Monica
IGNITING POTENTIAL THROUGH PLAY
Message from Monica
As I reflect back on the difficult years we faced during the COVID pandemic between 2020-21 and the catastrophic effects it had on so many families I am thankful to all our loyal donors for their support of our cause. With the closure of so many businesses and people that lost their jobs during the most inopportune time, more people need our services to help feed, teach and develop their little ones. So many pre-schools had to close their doors and could not pay their staff and even more, children lost the opportunity to play, learn and develop. This inevitably meant that the inequality gap we try to address in our society widened and undermined the progress that we have made over the last 10 years in early childhood development. I am however inspired that our Cotlands team remains resolute to change and improve the ECD services in the country and advocate for more play with young children in every community that we work with. I was excited by this year’s World Play Day event…
From our ECD work on the ground, we know that young children spend most of their time at home with their parents, their Gogos, or a caregiver. Due to income constraints, most of these adults that take care of children at home don’t have the means to buy good quality, educational toys. This unfortunate situation sets a learning and development gap in a young child’s life in the early years. That is why we have launched an advocacy campaign, titled Every One Million. We believe that through the power of play we can help every child reach their best potential. We are advocating for more toy libraries in book libraries and by doing so, adults that take care of children will be able to access play materials, initiating more enriched play-based learning opportunities at home.
We hosted a World Play Day event in a municipal library space in Krugersdorp, Gauteng. It just showed me how impactful toy library activities can be within a public space.
It brought the community together. Mothers or caregivers use a library space to play, teach and develop their children.
This filled me with lots of hope that positive change can start within our communities if quality services are delivered to the people that need them the most and don’t have access to educational play resources. On the day we had conversations with the library services team from the Department of Sports Arts and Culture to share ideas of what is possible if we have the right partners committed to giving our children equal opportunities to learn and grow.
As part of our advocacy goals, we handed out play-at-home kits consisting of a variety of educational resources. The kit includes a play activity book, lego blocks, a puzzle, coloured pencils, scissors, paper glue, playdough, and paint.