The annual African Child Day celebration arranged by the to care foundation, SOAPkidz and the Carousel has become such a popular event that volunteers from all over Gauteng assisted on the day. On the 16th of June 2009, 1814 toddlers, their 253 teachers and at least 130 volunteers arrived at the Carousel Casino’s soccer fields to celebrate African Child Day. A day full of entertainment awaited them as they arrived in busses, taxis and their own vehicles. Johan Smit, the CEO of the to care foundation and Karen Hauptfleisch, the CEO of SOAPkidz welcomed the children, teachers and volunteers and directed the setting up of the different activities. The IQ business group together with the UJ students set up the obstacle course, which included lots of games, jumping castles and laughter. The girls from the Tshwane home of hope were responsible for the face painting and the balloons. Practitioners from the Early Childhood Development sites facilitated the making of big posters re-using litter whilst the AIM students were responsible for the puppet theatre.
Upon arrival each day care centre was ushered to their designated position and then the fun began. Every child had their face painted, received a balloon, watched a puppet show, made a poster re-using litter, had loads of fun on the obstacle course and was ade to feel special and loved.
All of the schools wanted their pictures taken with the SOAPkidz volunteers, who had everyone laughing with the outfits that they wore on the day.
Too soon it was time for lunch. After everyone’s energy was restored by the food sponsored by the Carousel and to care foundation the afternoon’s entertainment got underway. The world renowned jazz guitarist Mos Mogale and his youth jazz orchestra (CAFCA) from Mamelodi soon had everyone’s feet tapping and moving to their beautiful rhythms. Each day care centre then had a chance to perform. The competition was fierce and the toddlers stole hearts with their songs. The judges were unanimous in their decision to choose Kgatso and Arethuleng day care centers as winner and runner up.
When the busses started arriving, everyone was reluctant to leave. We all danced a final dance, hugged one another and made promises to see each other again on the 16th of June 2010.
On the way back to Pretoria, I received the following text messages from volunteers:
- My daughter and I had so much fun – a perfect youth day indeed. Portia Boikanyo (SOAPkidz volunteer)
- We really enjoyed it – this was the first Youth day where I felt I truly made a difference – Cornelia Raath Lotter (Rotary Club of Pretoria East)
- I am going to sleep for a week – but once again, a wonderful feel good day. Glennita Ford (SOAPkidz volunteer)
- I have told everyone I know about the fantastic day. Luis Costa
- The teachers loved it and can’t wait for the next event. Susanne Hertzog (Gauteng Department of Education)
SOAPkidz in conjunction with to care Foundation will entertain 3000 toddlers from 83 different pre-primary school from the Makapanstad and Hammanskraal.
During the 4 teachers training workshops last year the teachers were taught how to make vegetable gardens. We distributed booklets on how to get creative re-using litter and other environmental issues were addressed. The African child day ended on a high note with 2000 toddlers performing the SOAPkidz litter song, using the music instruments they created by re-using litter. Several articles were made re-using litter and everyone left with a big smile.
This year we would like to get some new ideas, especially since there will be 3000 toddlers.
Just some ideas of the help we need:
Besides sponsorship, I need help with the following:
- Event Planning. We need new ideas to make the rest of the year even more successful.
- Event Coordinating
- Public Relations
- HRM – we need to train our volunteers and make the events more sustainable
The plan is to get the different committees together so we can start planning. Please let me know if you want to assist with the planning stage, otherwise you can just pitch up on the day.