Where I live no one has a lot of money. Some moms and dads have a little money but they must work all the time but then they can buy food and clothes and things. But not books and toys and other special things. There is also not money to live in a nice area and so the children can go to a nice school and learn the things that will help them. I am lucky because I can go to Little Lambs pre-school. Little Lambs is like being in heaven when you are still alive. My mom and dad are so happy that I am there. It is safe and everyone here loves the children. They give us nice healthy food and there are books and toys and equipment and I can play with my friends. They also teach us so many things like reading and writing and counting and shapes and hygiene and how to be with other children. And because at Little Lambs my tummy is always full and I am always warm and dry and I can sleep enough in the day I can listen and concentrate in class and keep up with the other children. I love the teachers at Little Lambs and they love me and always know what is the best thing for me. I also love the other things we do like the outings and dancing and music and shows and concerts and Christmas parties. And I can stay here the whole day until my mom or dad have finished work and can come take me home.
One day I will go to big school. That will be the best! I will be able to sit in the front and put up my hand and be happy in my uniform and with my books and with the other kids. And then when I finish school I will go to university. I like to think about this. I told my mom I will go to university one day and then she was crying but she said was the crying from being happy. But there is something that makes me sad and that is the other children who can’t come to Little Lambs because then maybe they can’t put up their hands in big school and then go to university. And then maybe their moms can only cry from being sad.
I didn’t expect to become a teacher. I started working part-time at Little Lambs in 2002 and the more I enjoyed it the more important it became to me. Then in 2005 I started studying at the College of Cape Town and got my ECT Diploma in 2008. Last year I started my B.Ed through UNISA. I travel to Little Lambs each morning from Khayelitsha. It’s not long, only one-and-a-half or two hours. The best time of the day for me is in the morning when the kids arrive at school with their parents. In the afternoon they will leave with their brothers or sisters or friends but in the morning we get to speak to their parents and talk about how things are going. it also gives us a chance to build good relationships with them.
If I can think about one of the best things that has happened at Little Lambs it is that we moved from down there at Kroonendaal Farm up here to this new place. I was so happy when I saw this new building. Now we have a really nice space and the parents keep coming with their children. This is really important for us, to be able to educate the children. They are our future leaders.
I am 46 years old, a single parent, I live in Gugulethu. I had four children although the youngest passed away last year, so now I just have two girls and one boy. They are all hard workers. My mother was from De Aar and my father from Namakwe in the Eastern Cape but I grew up here in Cape Town.
Before Little Lambs I worked at a creche for four years before it closed down and then in a private house, looking after the kids, for eleven years. Then, because I love to read, I was reading the Weekend Argus one day and I saw an article about Little Lambs and that they were looking for someone with Level 4 training in EduCare. I though I would try my luck and I got the job. I have continued to study and I am nearly at the end of my Level 5 training. It’s not too much to work and study because most of what we learn is practical and I get to use it straight away in the classroom. But the thing that makes it the easiest is that I love the job. I love to work with the children and it motivates me to learn about the development of a child. No matter what is happening in my life, I am always here, fresh for the kids.