As we enter the festive season and many children will be enjoying their school holidays and looking forward to starting a new grade in the new year, many other children have been severely impacted by the extended lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the devastating looting that happened in July this year.

In this exclusive interview, Gareth Cliff talks to Dr Tshepo Motsepe, South Africa’s First Lady and Patron of the Early Care Foundation, who shares her thoughts and passion about the importance of early care for children. The Early Care Foundation is an organisation dedicated to increasing access to early childhood development in disadvantaged areas, through upskilling women and providing support for home-based creches.

The pandemic has exacerbated this already fragile sector. Thousands of parents and early care practitioners have lost their jobs, which also means that thousands of children in vulnerable communities lose their access to safe, educational early care facilities, and the associated daily nutrition the creche provides. The Early Care Foundation has launched the #NoOneLeftBehind campaign to help get at least 1000 children back into a stimulating learning environment, and provide a roadmap for women back into employment.

How can we help? For just R400 a month or R4800 a year, individuals and corporates can enable a child’s return to school. There is also the option to sponsor a teacher’s salary at R4000 a month. For more information and links to donate: #NoOneLeftBehind campaign – 



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Our First Lady speaks up for the Children