On arrival to Nceduluntu, all teachers are greeted like the Beatles returning home to Liverpool. 70 small children, banging their fists on the table and shouting ‘TEACHER! TEACHER!’ is quite spectacular. The children are so willing to learn and so eager to be taught in the infamous container, they practically climb over one another to get your attention.
The day begins with porridge, easily the most important part of the day. It has been compared to molten lava! After this lessons begin with numeracy and literacy. To all volunteers coming soon, prepare your singing voices. The lesson is supposed to be an hour but normally the children lose their concentration, so it is best to plan ahead with lots of activities.
Break time for the volunteers starts at 10:15, which is fabulous for you, but the carers do get a little tyred of children jumping off the walls and hanging from the ceiling! Then we go into physical lessons which are hilarious, lots of ‘Duck, duck, goose’ and ‘Simon says’- getting a carer to join in is a great idea otherwise the children will get a bit over excited!
Creative starts at 11:45 and lasts half an hour. The eight selected children will colour in joyously for at least 27 of those minutes, the last three entails peeling them off the walls/ceiling/you.
Lunch is served once they’ve completed the military operation that is washing their hands. During this you have the funny job of feeding the babies who live in the ‘cage’. Don’t be scared by the word cage, it is an affectionate name for the playpen, but it’s no exaggeration!
The children in the nursery are all so special and hugely enthusiastic throughout the whole day. They’re always searching for your approval on their work and it’s clear they really appreciate you being there. All 70 of them will steal little bits of your heart.
Joey Langton – Nceduluntu Educare Volunteer