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Zero2Five in the uThukela District

Play Box Postings: 2nd Issue

Photographs by Rogan Ward (Zero2Five)

Zero2Five Trust is a non-profit organisation that operates in rural communities in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. The organisation works to ensure young children growing up in poor rural communities are provided an opportunity to grow and learn. It provides an extensive feeding programme to 400 ECD sites in the two provinces. With Care for Education, it supports an education programme by training and supporting practitioners, and distributing literacy materials and Play Boxes to help build the foundations of physical, cognitive, and emotional skills for preschool children.

“Play Box is a top dollar resource. I grew up in northwest Germany. One of the highlights of my childhood was the regular visits to the LEGO House in Billund, a short distance across the border. I loved LEGO as a child. And now I can see the value of Play Box particularly in (resource constrained) areas where we work." - Zero2Five CEO


Five ECD sites dotted across the Loskop area and in Winterton were visited. Two ECD sites were situated in homesteads: a traditional hut and a township dwelling. Three were housed in community facilities: a community hall and two repurposed old buildings.

At the ECD centre, a repurposed community building, the teacher was a seasoned practitioner with a flair for using learning through play (LtP) methods. She got down on her knees playfully working with the children on the carpet. Play Box was emptied. This was a creative playful exercise. She entranced the children with a story and then she told them what they were about to do with Play Box. The children’s faces showed their eagerness. They set about building with the bricks. She continued asking them questions, and they responded eagerly with their own stories.

New interns are being trained to assist teachers in the ECD centres in the uThukela district with using Play Box, as well as with numeracy and early reading and literacy. They have completed training in early literacy and will be rolling the programme out with book boxes and training. They will also help centres develop vegetable gardens.

Photographs by Rogan Ward (Zero2Five)

Click here to read the full extract from the South African case study by Gareth Rossiter and more about the expansion of Zero2Five in the remote Mbizana district.

Upcoming: Chief Albert Luthuli Network of Early Childhood Centres


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