Dalukhanyo is a non-profit organisation, with early roots to 1986 when a school was established by local hostel dwellers, who identified the need to provide a play group facility. At first it operated in an open space between the hostels. Then in 1990 it moved into a container setting. Later, in 2006, local government provided a prefab school structure, consisting of a large classroom, smaller rooms, a small kitchen, very good ablution facilities and an outdoor play space.
The school was registered as a place of care in December 1996 and registered as a non-profit organisation in November 2004. The constitution shows it to be a voluntary body aiming ‘to empower the quality of life and education for young children from 0-6 years of age’. The Dalukhanyo Pre- School has a membership of parents and donors, which meets at an Annual General Meeting and is controlled by a Management Committee of six.
At maximum, the pre-school accommodates 185 children in four age groups from babies through to six year-olds. There are ten staff, all of whom have received formal training through the Early Learning Resource Unit. Currently the teachers and the cook are paid small salaries if funds are available.
Dalukhanyo means ‘bring light’ in Xhosa, a fitting name for a project aiming to support parents and young children. It improves the quality of life and offers the opportunity of pre-school education to give children a better start in life. Vitally it enables mothers to take paid employment and plays a vital role in empowering parents and young people – for example there are regular educational workshops on child-care, nutrition and HIV/AIDS awareness.
This work is undertaken with a small annual budget; in 2010 the income was around £30,000 and the expenditure was £31,500.