Rotary: Paving the way to empowered rural communities in Limpopo


Some fun at school with DUPLO


The first South African democratic president, Mr. Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Education not only changes lives but it can help transform communities towards sustainable development. For Education to make an impact, different role players are required. Care for Education, a South African based Non-Profit Organization, supports many organizations in early childhood development with playful teaching tools (manipulatives) and training. Rotary, a beneficiary organization in Polokwane, Limpopo, focuses on early childhood development with an emphasis on foundation phase education and literacy.


Rotary Polokwane places ‘communities’, at the core of their outreach strategies. In responding to some of the challenges facing rural communities, Rotary conducts a NEEDS analysis to assess each community’s unique requirements. Rotary believes that communities ought to have a voice and that strategies should never be imposed. From their ECD assessments, Rotary discovered a lack of playful teaching tools and playful teaching methodologies in ECDs, particularly those in rural areas. In response, Rotary contacted Care for Education for DUPLO Play Box resources and training. Thereafter, Rotary provided training as well as playful learning tools to creches in need. The training of practitioners in ECDs is carried out by a CFE accredited facilitator, Non-Rotarian Shayne Moodie, who runs a community project ‘The Empty Toy Box’. This project entails selecting a village community teacher who is responsible for inviting ECDs to DUPLO training. After each training, DUPLO Play Boxes are handed out to all centres.


Well-done to Rotary for empowering rural communities!