Lavela Early Childhood Development Centre

In 2004, as tourists visited the informal settlement known as Ramaphosa, it was felt that the community should benefit in some way from tourism. The community approached Calabash Trust and after many meetings the main need identified by the community was for a nutrition scheme and early childhood development.

Thanks to the generosity of a UK school and a British tourist, we were able to purchase three containers which were quickly renovated to become two class rooms and a kitchen. Another Dutch Tourist committed to sending regular monthly donations to help feed the children in this very poor area. 100 Children per day was fed (including children who come for feeding after school) with healthy nutritious food. Through a small education fund we sent two ladies who volunteer in this project to attend Early Learning training and graduate as Early Childhood Development teachers.

They named the project “ Lavela,” which means “the sun is rising.”

After 7 years of operating in this village, the relocation of the Ramaphosa community to Joe Slovo and Motherwell required us to move the ECDC onto the grounds of Joe Slovo Primary School at the end of 2011. The centre now acts as a Pre-Grade R class for Joe Slovo Primary, with 40 registered children taught and fed daily. Nomonde, the teacher from Ramaphosa still teaches in the centre with the help of an assistant teacher who is paid a small stipend by the parents.

Thanks to the generosity of individual donors from South Africa and the United Kingdom, Nomonde receives a monthly stipend, children receive a healthy daily meal, are educated each day, and are able to take the children to at least two outings per year…

Below are some photos…

The container pre-school (Nomonde standing by the entrance)538346_412464312108274_796486170_n

Inside the container with before a parent meeting…

IMG_1045 (600 x 450)

Eating time!


Marion Gate, co-founder of Calabash Trust and greatest supporter of Lavela ECDC visiting the school…



Marion Gate’s last outing with Lavela children in 2014 before she relocated back to Scotland…


The 2014 Graduation Ceremony at Lavela!





Comments are closed.