Early Childhood Development #ECDforALL- Buhle’s Story!

“Early Intervention through good quality comprehensive ECD [Early Childhood Development] is the most impactful and cost effective way to reduce violence and break the cycle of poverty (World Health Organisation).”

We acknowledge that crime prevention starts with Early Childhood Development. Especially in South Africa’s informal settlements (shack dwellings), still home to about 11% of South Africans, social and economic exclusion raises high levels of poverty, unemployment, and crime.

Young children growing up in those communities are particularly vulnerable; few have access to nurturing environments that foster learning and growth. In Cape Town’s informal settlement of Monwabisi Park, only 30% of children younger than 6 years old have access to Early Child Development programmes.


With our Early Childhood Development Programme, we aspire to connect at least 80% of children in a community to Early Childhood outreach activities mitigating risks for children to become victims or offenders of crime and violence.

We promote trained ECD teachers delivering programmes from toy libraries in informal settlements, Emthonjenis (Open-air learning spaces), Home Visits and psychosocial support campaigns. We have partnered with The Unlimited Child to deliver curriculum-based, quality training to all teachers.

Our team #ECDForAll! is striving for every child to be able to reach their greatest potential in life, grow up in a healthy and nurturing environment and ensure caregivers are supported to provide for their children all they need and deserve.


Read more about VPUU’S Early Childhood Development Progamme


Buhle lives with her unemployed parents in a shack dwelling in Monwabisi Park informal settlement. Her parents observe that she has become more receptive since she attends the daily sessions at the local Emthonjeni. The Emthonjeni Programme offers children like Buhle the opportunity to develop optimally and enjoy the prospects of a better future. An emthonjeni open-air learning space is created by transforming a crime hotspot – the underutilized public space around the communal water tap in an informal settlement – into a vibrant community oasis.


Our ECD programmes have reached almost 4000 children, just like Buhle. But we can do more. Download our Emthonjeni Booklet here to find out more and check out how you can #getinvolved.

You can contact us on Facebook @VPUUSA, email hello@vpuu.org.za or call +27 21 447 0086. We are looking forward to hear from you.