From Hilton to Zambia

The best part of Zambia - the beautiful people! Thes two, from Aisha Project School in Lilayi

The best part of Zambia – the beautiful people! These two, from Aisha Project School in Lilayi

A recent visit by Singakwenza, brainchild of Julie Hay, to various creches in Zambia, produced the following numbers: 4 days, 6 workshops, 166 educators/caregivers, 6 924 children.

Those are the kinds of numbers that make Director and Founder of the ECD programme, Julie, sing with joy, as she loads yet more recycling into her suitcase and heads off to another Waste 2 Toys Workshop to inspire, teach and motivate parents and educators of little children all around Kzn, and now other parts of Africa too.

Some of Julie's samples.

Some of Julie’s samples.

Launched in February 2010, this fledgling NPO has taken flight and thanks to the support of funders such as Vodacom and Wilderness Safaris, recently spent a week running Waste 2 Toys Workshops in Zambia. Much like at home, Early Childhood Development has been largely ignored by governments in Africa, and rural schools have few or no resources with which to teach.

Amazing what matchsticks and polystyrene can do for fine motor co-ordination...

Amazing what matchsticks and polystyrene can do for fine motor co-ordination…

Using recyclable materials (92 kg of waste, to be precise – believe me, I carried the suitcases!), Julie shows teachers / care-givers / parents, how discarded objects can be transformed into toys that make children laugh while learning. At the same time, teachers learn exactly why picking up tiny things or catching balls is so vital to a child’s brain development.

Julie demonstrates the "ball on a rope" action.

Julie demonstrates the “ball on a rope” action.

The trip to Zambia was the second such journey outside of South Africa’s borders and Julie had this to say about her experience in Zambia.
“What a privilege to be able to share our knowledge and ideas with such dedicated, enthusiastic people, many of whom are in challenging situations with few or no resources. I was blown away by the enthusiastic response of the delegates, and I know that we were able to touch many children’s lives during this amazing journey.”


At the Mandevu Paediatric Clinic, carers concentrating hard


You might think it's easy, but it's harder than it looks.

You might think it’s easy, but it’s harder than it looks.

If you would like to learn more about this inspirational organisation, why don’t you look them up on or try their facebook page:

(Article by C Richter.)