The biggest impact for societies can be made at the early childhood development level. Developing passionate teachers and upskilling them to provide quality early childhood development can bring about significant changes in communities.

Further investment into teachers and early childhood centres are critically needed. Research shows that in low-income countries, such as sub-Saharan Africa, investments in the lowest levels of education are the most cost-effective[i]. In South Africa alone, more than 3 million children[ii] do not receive ECD services. The National Development Plan (NDP) is committed to offering a full range of ECD services to every child in South Africa by 2030, yet currently, only 1-2% of South Africa’s education budget[iii] is spent on early learning programmes.

Acutely aware of these realities, the Indaba Foundation aims to support the training of the next generation of educators within the Cape Winelands to dynamically lead a new era of early childhood development that will improve the life trajectory of the youngest, most vulnerable through early childhood education. The intention is to equip such educators with knowledge and skills that empower them to meet the needs of the children in their communities and help shape the development of their community, as Community Shapers.

The Community Shapers programme supports sponsored students of Indaba Institute, who are ready to take the first step to build a bridge that will enable every child in their community to achieve their full potential. Community Shapers are leaders who understand themselves and the needs of their communities, individuals who represent the ideals of their community, who are not satisfied with the status quo and who have the passion and courage to help shape the future – and serve as role-models for the members of their community.

The journey with a Community Shaper will continue for many years to bring about sustained success. To ensure the programme’s success, it is important for the Indaba Foundation to be open to learning and adapting what it offers, as the understanding of the needs of those on the programme and the communities they serve, grows. Listening, observing and taking time to reflect on the progress of our sponsored students, will help us ensure that we are supportive of their individual journeys, as well as remain true to the mission of leading a new era of early childhood development.


[i] (pg 5)