The last financial year passed by in a whirlwind of learning. We’re proud to say that friends like you helped us reach nearly 66 500 beneficiaries though our various programmes. That’s more than double the year before!
This exponential growth is possible only with the generous support of our donors. Thank you.
Together, we brought learning and laughter into the lives of 4 130 children at toy library play sessions; and almost 4 400 more children in early learning playgroups. We served over 346 000 meals to children. We set up seven toy library depots and hitched our first toy library trailer onto a mobile health clinic.
These successes lay a fantastic foundation for future growth. There’s still so much we need to do for the children of South Africa. Half of all children younger than three still don’t have access to early learning. And only two out of 10 children hear stories at home.
Literacy and early education will be a real game changer for these children.
That’s why we made a big bang at National Book Week in September last year. In the Western Cape, our mobile toy library set up fantasy play scenes at Happy Valley, Ashbury and Zolani; complete with minstrels, puppet shows, films and storytellers. Professional storytellers also worked their magic in under-serviced areas like Xhora in the Eastern Cape, Driefontein in KZN and Polokwane City Library in Limpopo.
The children were simply enchanted by these activities. They loved seeing stories come to life – and their parents could see for themselves the benefit of storytelling and encouraging a passion for reading.
We also ran a fundraising campaign during book week to help purchase new books. As you can imagine, books are at the heart of Cotlands’ activities.
If we want to expand and reach more children, we need more books and learning materials. We thank all the donors who rallied to this important cause. Your gifts will ignite potential through play!
We also thank donors for supporting our birthday appeal in November. When children live in deep poverty, birthday celebrations are rare. But we won’t let poverty spoil their fun! By sponsoring a child’s attendance at Cotlands playgroup, donors ensure that each child gets to celebrate their big day with a birthday ring, singing, dancing and a handmade crown.
The children feel like royalty for the day – and it means so much to them.
Thank you all, once again, for supporting Cotlands as we steam into the future. Together, we’re raising the bar in early childhood development, day by day.