First off we would like to send out a MASSIVE shout out & THANK YOU to all the Sunday People! Without knowing you have all contributed to this amazing cause. With your support of our monthly events, we are able to support the Langa Creche. We provide monthly groceries, electricity, teacher salaries & help where needed. Once a year we host their annual Christmas Party at Gugu Sthebe Community Centre. This year we hope to uplift and empower the school further though various projects. Without all you wonderful, music loving humans, this would not be possible. THANK YOU! <3
Jean, is a remarkable woman and the principal of the Langa Creche. Situated in Bunga Avenue, Langa – a Cape Town township still bearing the brunt of apartheid’s segregation, exclusivity and inequality. Her story is one filled with passion, determination and sheer resilience. A mother of three, Jean, had inherited the Langa Creche from her aunt. “My mother’s sister passed away in 2016 and I am now responsible for the creche.” Her aunt, who was a domestic worker, had seen the need to take care of children in the community so that the mothers could go to work. Jean says, “you couldn’t go to work if you had a baby and you didn’t know where to leave your baby, so she decided to take care of the kids.”
Establishing Langa Creche was not an easy process, as her aunt went about enquiring how-to set-in motion a space where the neighbourhood children could be taken care of while their parents were at work. Her family had always been devoted to community work, “my grandmother used to do community work, she used to cook and take food to old-aged homes.” With the need to help and make other people’s lives better, Jean continues to ensure that the children at Langa Creche are fed, have clean nappies and that they are learning. Her love and admiration for children can be heard in the way she so fondly speaks of them. Running the creche comes with many challenges, including irregular school fees payments and dealing with the inconsistencies of Social Development. Through it all, Jean continues to ensure that there is a safe space for the neighbourhood children. “When you do something with passion you don’t feel it.” For many parents, it is difficult to produce the monthly creche payment. Jean understands these everyday struggles faced by parents. “I’ve got children who I’ve decided to make beneficiaries when I noticed that the family can’t afford to pay the fees. Instead of keeping the child in the house, I’d say bring the child to school. Because, I know she’s not eating at home but if she’s here, I know I’m going to give her a plate of food and she’ll have a snack before she goes home.” Today, she is equipped to take care of 22 children, with the help of two teachers and a cook.
Throughout the years, Langa Creche continues to exist with the support of sponsors. Jean smiles at the mention of We House Sundays as she recalls how they had come at a time when she felt ready to almost give up. “The school fees, received, was minimum, I couldn’t run the creche and my house on what I was making.” In 2017, Jean says her Grandmother had a dream, “my aunt was talking to her, she said she knows I’m crying and that I shouldn’t. It can all get better.” The We House Sundays crew had come with easter eggs for the kids, parcels and food. “They said they would help me. I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to do. Whatever I needed they said they would give me.” She firmly believes her aunt had some hand in sending We House Sundays to her rescue. “My aunt must be watching over me, this is all her doing and from that time, I stopped complaining.” She admits to still having challenges but chooses to focus on the joy and reward of helping the children. “We House Sundays has always been there for me. Now I am able to provide for the children.”
Jean is a warrior with a strong spirit, invested in providing children in Langa with a better future. The Langa Creche serves kids with an opportunity to make good choices. Instead of succumbing to their environment, they are equipped to see what lies beyond Langa. She finds joy and pride in seeing people who have started at her creche and have gone on to do great things such as pursuing a degree at university, or starting their own business. Committed to the cause, Jean attends classes once a week and workshops to ensure the creche is up to standard and that her children are learning the prescribed curriculum. This is one woman determined to enhance the lives of many in her community. Her dedication is an inspiration to never give up and to never be afraid to ask for a helping hand as we could all use one from time to time.
Written By Mandy Jade Alexander