A day of thanks for preschools’ staff

The women dancing to Shakira’s Waka Waka.

My Father’s House, a Simon’s Town food kitchen, held a day of appreciation for preschool teachers and staff in Ocean View.

Music and laughter erupted from a community hall there on Saturday as the women tried their hands (and feet) at line dancing.

My Father’s House founder Pastor Shaddie Valayadum said they had started feeding children at Ocean View preschools about two months ago after ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock had told him that they were “taking strain”.

The organisation works with various sponsors and residents from Glencairn, Glencairn Heights, Welcome Glen, and surrounds.

“We have been feeding people in the valley for a while now, and we never say no to the hungry, especially hungry children,” said Pastor Valayadum.

They were feeding about 400 children a day at 16 preschools in Ocean View, he said. They started with sandwiches but moved to three hot meals a week, preparing and supplying the food from a kitchen they opened at Daisy Daycare. The distribution is handled by the Ocean View Early Childhood Development Forum.

Last Saturday was all about giving the staff at the preschools a chance to relax and have some fun and to thank them for continuing to feed the community’s children during the hard lockdown, he said.

Three volunteer line dancers helped the women work up a sweat on the dance floor, and Vicky Kum, the founder, and director of True North, a non-profit organisation that helps to set up places of learning and safety for preschool children, spoke to them about mutual trust and support.

Chicken curry and rice prepared by Pastor Valayadum followed.

Nicole Mitchell, from Little Seeds Educare, said it was the best way to shake off some stress.

“It’s such a good idea, and it’s beautiful and different and exciting. I love my job, and this is a great opportunity to meet new people, talk about what we do, and support each other,” she said.

Isabel Petersen from Radiance Educare, said that after spending a week in ICU with Covid-19, she was grateful to be alive and happy that she could have some fun.

“This is such a good idea and everyone is having so much fun,” she said.

TV personality and my Farther’s House board chairman Nico Panagio surprised the women when he arrived to hand out certificates of appreciation.

He received a warm welcome and readily posed for selfies after the awards ceremony.

Visit myfathershouse.org.za to learn more about the organisation.

My Father’s House founder Pastor Shaddie Valayadum welcomes the women at the Ocean View Multipurpose Centre.
My Father’s House founder Pastor Shaddie Valayadum with Adiella Baadjies, from Little Doves Educare in Ocean View. The women were asked to get to know a stranger and then introduce their new friends to the group.
My Father’s House founder Pastor Shaddie Valayadum with True North founder Vicky Kum and Gail Simons, chairperson of the Ocean View Early Childhood Development Forum.
The women with their certificates of appreciation. Kneeling in front is My Father’s House founder Pastor Shaddie Valayadum and in the middle is My Father’s House board chairman Nico Panagio.
Shane van der Westhuizen celebrated her birthday on Saturday. She is pictured here with My Father’s House board chairman Nico Panagio and founder pastor Shaddie Valayadum.

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