Khayelitsha /ˌkaɪ.əˈliːtʃə/ – The largest informal settlement in Cape Town. The name is from the Xhosa, which means ‘Our new home’, but it has become notorious as a place of gang violence, uprisings and extreme poverty.

Worldwide Literacy and SmartBrain were invited by Christy Haefele,  founder of the Beating Heart SA (Non-Profit Company), to assist with one of her workshops at the Nokwanda Educare in Khayelitsha. About thirty parents and children crowded the small class room to listen to our presentation.

Christy spoke about the importance of sensory development in pre-schoolers and parents were delighted to receive a gift bag afterwards.

Then it was SmartBrain’s turn.  Parents were taught the basics of brain stimulation and how they can help to enhance the brain potential of their own children at home. Parents were then handed a blank booklet, marker pens, pictures and glue and were shown how to make their own reading books and flash cards.

The response can be summed up at best by quoting Christy: “It’s one thing to recognize a need in theory and try fill it, but when you actually see parents craving this kind of input and leave the workshop excited to go home and interact with their children using what they’ve learnt… it is the most rewarding feeling.”