by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – GLOBAL beauty and personal care company, Avon Justine, has invested approximately R600 000 to foster early childhood development in impoverished communities in South Africa.
The investment is on its poverty alleviation programme launched in 2010, known as Thuthukisa, which loosely translates to building together.
Two early childhood development projects in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng Provinces have benefitted.
Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director for Avon Justine Turkey, Middle East and Africa, said early child development was crucial as it was the most important building block that determined the future academic progress of any child.
He said research had shown that the emotional, social and physical development of young children had a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become.
“That is why as Avon Justine, we believe that investing in young children is important to maximise their future well-being,” Mareletse said.
In Kwa-Zulu Natal, Avon Justine built a day care facility for the working mothers at the Embo community.
This facility replaced a derelict shack which was previously used as a day care facility.
This is as part of Justine Thuthukisa Together programme which seeks to build and support impoverished communities in South Africa. The day care facility is named Siyajabula, which is a isiZulu word that means: we are happy.
The funding will be used to build an extra classroom for Grade R.
“At Avon, we are harnessing the power of beauty to facilitate access to learning opportunities for children in this community. We hope that through this intervention, we remarkably improve the learning outcomes for children and this institution.”
The building of this day care facility has enabled female members of the community, who are mostly caregivers, to find employment or acquire new skills comfortable in the knowledge that their children are taken care of and learning in a safe environment.
According to the Statistics South Africa’s Living Conditions Survey, approximately half (49,2 percent) of the adult population in the country are living below the upper-bound poverty line and the severity of poverty measures are larger for female-headed households compared to households headed by males.
– CAJ News