120 Children benefit by Golf Day

The Overstrand Classic Golf Day, held in December last year, has directly benefited up to 120 children involved in the Flower Valley Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme. The proceeds of the Golf Day were handed over to the Flower Valley Conservation Trust team, at a ceremony with the Overstrand’s Executive Mayor, Nicolette Botha-Guthrie, on Wednesday 6 May in Masakhane.

The Golf Day was organised by the Overstrand’s Tourism Ambassador, Bob Skinstad, and sponsored by Seartec, proud distributor of Sharp. It raised R35,000  for the Flower Valley ECD Programme through the Mayor’s Trust Fund. This is being used to resource five ECD centres in the Gansbaai region with essential items. According to the Mayor, “The Mayoral Fund is being used to establish a safe, healthy, stimulating, learning environment. The success of this is partnerships.

So our thanks to Bob Skinstad and his team for the Overstrand Classic Golf Day.” Gabrielle Jonker, Coordinator of the Flower Valley ECD Programme, said the Programme, called ‘Nurture’, currently reaches around 120 children and 18 practitioners.

By 2018, it’s hoped that ‘Nurture’ will reach up to 700 children at centres across the Overstrand region and through home-based care in rural areas. She said, “This project is primarily about children. But alongside that it’s about women. The ECD sector is historically extremely marginalised. As a project, we therefore work towards the economic emancipation of the women who work as practitioners.” Flower Valley Conservation Trust, a non-profit organisation based in the Gansbaai region, has supported ECD for the past 16 years. However, in 2013, the Trust received support from the Western Cape Department of Social Development, to support five centres in the area.

The ceremony, held at the Good Hope ECD Centre, showcased the partnerships between Flower Valley, the Department and the Overstrand Municipality. The Centre, which was formally housed in an informal dwelling, now cares for 43 children in a municipal building in Masakhane, with five practitioners caring for the children. According to the Mayor, “We’re going to host a second Golf Day (in 2015), and I can now show those involved in the day what we have done with the money raised.”

The second Overstrand Classic Golf Day takes place on 20 November 2015 at the Arabella Golf Club.

Heather Dalton

Flower Valley ECD Programme Co-ordinator, Gabrielle Jonker with children at the Good Hope ECD Centre in Masakhane
Overstrand Executive Mayor, Nicolette Botha-Guthrie tells of her passion for ECD at the ceremony where she handed over the proceeds of the Overstrand Classic Golf Day to the Flower Valley ECD Programme
Overstrand’s Executive Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie with Good Hope ECD Centre Manager Dorah Siduka