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Who We Are

The Dalton Education Trust was founded by ZuluWaters Game Reserve in 2009 with the vision that children from the communities of Dalton Bridge, Ezindikini and Mhubheni, neighbouring the Reserve, would have access to high quality education to enable them to fulfill their true potential as adults.  It was deciedd to focus specifically on on Early Childhood Development which would address the current needs of the community, while also investing in the future of the area’s children. Stimulation during their formative years is crucial for children because, if early needs are not met, there is a knock-on effect throughout their later development. A solid pre-school education is key for success, and provides the foundation for skills development as the child grows. The Sakhithemba Resource Centre at Dalton Bridge serves as an anchor point for the two educational programmes that have been initiated – a network of Early Childhood Educators and weekly Psychomotor Education classes. These focus on giving children the skills they need when entering formal schooling, and enables them to become confident individuals capable of achieving their full potential later in life. ZuluWaters has initiated a small community levy of R50 per adult and R25 per child under the age of 12, per night. These funds enable us to provide the three Early Childhood Development establishments with whatever is needed to ensure these children are given the step-up they rightfully deserve. 

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What We Do

Our achievements so far include:

1. The Dalton Education registered as a Non-Profit Organisation (Registration Number 078-716-NPO) and a Public Benefit Organisation (930 034 579)

2. Established a Network of Early Childhood Educators: This project was initiated with the training of a network of local community members in NQF Level One pre-school teaching by the Little Elephant Training Centre for Early Education (LETCEE). Before The Trust initiated the formal pre-schools in the 3 communities, the family facilitators visited all pre-school age children in their designated areas at least twice a week to ensure they develop skills required for later education. They also assist families with obtaining social welfare grants, obtaining birth certificates, identifying challenges with children (for example disabilities).The Trust also employs a Coordinator from the local community to manage the family facilitators. The stipends of the family facilitators and their coordinator are an ongoing cost to the Trust.

3. Psychomotor Education: This project was introduced by PEISA (Psychomotor Institute of South Africa) and involves providing weekly psychomotor education classes to all pre-school age children in Dalton Bridge, Ezindikini, and Mhubheni. Psychomotor Education is based on a holistic approach towards the development of the child. The program emphasises the interdependence of physical, emotional and social functions. It aims to develop self-confidence, autonomy, s elf-esteem and self-discipline. It is based on “Non-Violent Communication” and empowers the children with skills enabling them to solve conflict peacefully. Through PEISA (Psychomotor Education Institute of South Africa) eight family facilitators have been trained in psychomotor techniques. This project is run by the family facilitators and has an ongoing cost in terms of food for the children on the day they attend and the cost of transporting the children to the venue at the Sakhithemba Resource Centre in Dalton Bridge.  Bi-annual training and refresher courses by PEISA are also costs to the Trust

4. Sakhithemba Centre for Early Education: This project involved the refurbishment of a crèche that was built by the Department of Public Works at Dalton Bridge many years ago. The building was also furnished and equipped with toys and learning materials.  As well as being a permanent pre-school where family facilitators from Dalton Bridge hold daily lessons for the pre-school children of the community, The Centre is also used for weekly Friday psychomotor lessons for all pre-school age children in the three communities. A healthy snack is currently provided to the children attending this weekly class. It is also used as a training venue for family facilitators and a toy library where family facilitators can exchange toys. Eskom has recently supplied electricity to the Resource Centre and this is an ongoing cost.  Additional ongoing costs include stipends for the family facilitators and the caretaker who are be based here as well as a daily meal for the children who attend class here
5. Siyazama Centre for Early Education: This project involved the construction of a brand new cpre-school in the community of Ezindikini and provides pre-school education to approximately 45 children between the ages of 2-6.  Eskom has recently supplied electricity to the Resource Centre and this is an ongoing cost.  Additional ongoing costs include stipends for the family facilitators and the caretaker who are be based here as well as a daily meal for the children who attend class here
6. Mhubheni.  This is the largest community with the most Family Facilitators. As yet we have not raised sufficient funds to build a new school but we have access to the local Community Hall which has been loaned to us to enable us to continue our work in providing pre-school education to the children who attend.  Ongoing costs include stipends for the family facilitators as well as a daily meal for the children who attend class here

7.  Graduation.  At the end of every school year, we hold a graduation ceremony for all of our children who are leaving to go to "big school" (Grade 1).  This is the highlight of the year and the community all come together for a big celebration.  Our Family Facilitators prepare a wonderful feast, there are speeches from VIP guests and each child has the opportunity to walk up in front of everyone to receive a special graduation certificate.

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Reach out to us

Please feel free to contact us should you wish to know more, or if you would like our "Wish List".  We welcome any contribution, partnering or support.

This project and the children of these communities will grow even more and be successful through your support

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