Bongiwe Mntungwana, fondly known as Zama, is the Founder of Sizamakonke Crèche and Pre-school which was established in 2018. The 36 year old mother of two was born in Durban and grew up Inanda. She now lives in Verulam informal settlement.
“I was raised by my granny and mom - the two role models in my life. I have overcome serious challenges in my desire to start Sizamkonke, grow the Early Childhood Development Centre and help improve the Verulam community,” explains Zama.
“I am also empowering women and men to lead innovative, entrepreneurial start-ups into mainstream business and ignite a passion often lacking in informal or small businesses.”
Zama studied Occupational Health and safety as well as facilitating in Safety, Assessor, Basic Ambulance Assistance, HIV/AIDS Counsellor, B. Ed (Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Teaching). Her interest in children led her to research and study Level 4 ECD as well as other short courses in this field.
What inspires Zama?
The love and passion I have for the community, both children and adults, and to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I am driven by the desire to equip children with skills and the capacity to be effective as they move into primary school.
Zama and her team of dedicated teachers provide a healthy and safe learning environment for children. Many parents in the area work full-day or half-day so there was a desperate need for somewhere where their preschool children are cared for.
“We found children loitering around during school hours due to the lack of transportation costs as a result of the high level of unemployment. We, in turn, enrol children that are vulnerable and unable to pay. This allows us to change the future for these little ones, which assists the community as a whole.”
Sizamakonke Crèche and pre-school is registered with the Department of Social Development in terms of the Children’s Act.
“We have taken up the mandate of creating change and bringing hope wherever we are involved. Although we cannot help everyone, we will help every single person we take responsibility for.”
Sizamakonke Crèche and Pre-school focuses on various important areas of a child’s development and other needs. These include:
Health and safety of children.
Fulfilling physical and emotional needs.
Stimulating intellectual and social development.
Sizamakonke provides warm meals for children in the community who do not attend their ECD Centre. They also provide aftercare for children whose parents work full day.
“Our centre has qualified staff and the necessary space and resources to ensure the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and mental development of the children in our care,” concludes Zama.
Thank you, Zama, for everything you do for your community. This Women’s Day Community Chest Durban celebrates you, your energy and your grit. You are making a difference and we will endeavour to help you realise all your dreams for the uMhlasini area.