ASHA Trust ECD training programme
In 2014, the Spur Foundation supported 10 local women in the establishment of holistic age-appropriate learning centres for children aged nought to four in Alexandra, Gauteng. This initiative is known as the ASHA Trust, providing local community women with training in early childhood development (“ECD”).
Crèche owners are supported to develop balanced eating and meal plans, and are provided with teacher and owner training, financial training, and mentoring, administrative and vocational support. Through the programme, crèche owners become economically active as they learn to run centres as sustainable small businesses. ASHA Trust also assists these women to develop their facilities to the standards prescribed by the Department of Social Development. It further assists them with registering their ECD centres, as well as accessing social development subsidies.
Spur Foundation has adopted a further 10 centres since 2014 and now sponsors 20 ECD centres in total, benefitting over 800 children. Training has been provided to the principal in each centre and also to one of her teachers.
In the 2018 financial year, training across the 20 centres will be extended to include a child development programme and a “raising readers” programme. An inclusion programme will also be offered, equipping teachers with the necessary skills to help children with disabilities and support their inclusion in the educational system, as well as integration back into their communities.