Our vested interest in the early development of children is an essential part of our goal to inspire healthy, engaged, and civic-minded adults.
Age-appropriate activities are planned in accordance with the six Early Learning and Development Areas of the National Curriculum Framework, but our approach to education is undoubtedly one of our key differentiators – creativity and skills are prized above knowledge and right answers, and children are encouraged to be imaginative and have fun.
Our model makes use of local resources: sessions take place in empty classrooms and local youth are trained to become educational facilitators. At the start of every after-school session, children are given a nutritious meal prepared by our cooks at our sustainable Community Centre.
With Thanda, learning is fun. We approach education by looking at thematic elements from philosophers such as Plato, artists such as Ai Weiwei, and superheroes such as Ironman as a lens for analyzing traditional belief systems, cultural identities, and active citizenship. Our Creative Learning Curriculum is built around stories, which are used to broaden horizons, make lateral connections across subject areas, link global issues to the local community, and cultivate five essential skills: self-esteem, critical thinking, empathy, rebelliousness, and creativity.
Our Organic Farming Program is reducing food insecurity & malnutrition, building self-reliance among cash-dependent communities, and encouraging local enterprise development.
We provide many resources to our farmers, including self-empowerment workshops, which shift mindsets from feelings of dependency to empowerment by encouraging each farmer to see his/her potential. We train and mentor our farmers to develop the technical skills necessary to start & maintain an organic farm, and provides assistance on setting up a small business enterprise.
Our infrastructure development efforts establish fencing and sustainable irrigation solutions at each farm to prevent crop devastation from drought or wild animals. And our guaranteed market gives farmers the option to sell their produce to Thanda, which is used in our Feeding Program and/or sold to retailers.
The NIVEA Thanda Community Centre is a safe place where children are free to be themselves and where they can learn, play and explore. It’s home to the only science lab, library, skate park and art centre in the municipality, and it’s powered by solar energy. Our cooks prepare hearty lunches for the children in our ECD and After-school Programmes every school day. That’s about 780 meals, five days, every week. Our on-site veggie garden gives children an opportunity to learn how to grow their own vegetables – teaching them responsibility and self-reliance.
But most importantly, it’s a place where children and youth in our community can feel at home.
Last year, we had over 4,000 visits to the NIVEA Thanda Community Centre – and that’s just on holidays and weekends.