“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”~Maria Montessori

At Operation: ROOIGROND, we believe in the use of education and empowerment as a means of creating positive change. In April 2010, after seeing the potential in the children of the Rooigrond Informal Settlement, the idea of establishing an Early Learning Centre came about.

The Early Learning Centre would seek to nourish that potential in the children and would also aim to develop their self-determination from a young age, in an effort to ensure that they know and believe that their circumstances do not have to dictate what they become. However, bringing this idea to life wouldn’t be easy. Many thought it an over-ambitious dream and shot it down, we never gave up on the belief that it would happen and each day, whilst stepping through the village and seeing the little children, the belief we had in what we were doing just kept growing.

In May 2010, whilst discussing the plan with a local farmer’s wife, our belief and faith was vindicated. Her husband who happened to overhear our topic of discussion offered to buy building equipment so that an Early Learning Centre could be built. From that moment forth, blessing after blessing poured forth and through partnerships formed with others, the Rooigrond Early Learning Centre was built by the community.

On Monday, the 6th September 2010, the Rooigrond Early Learning Centre opened its doors to 30 learners from the Informal Settlement. It was welcomed with great joy and goes beyond educating the children of the community. The Rooigrond Early Learning Centre has become a symbol of hope to the community, a symbol of how faith coupled with hard work can make things happen…

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