According to the Statistics SA’s Living Conditions Survey, approximately half (49,2%) of the adult population in South Africa are living below the upper-bound poverty line and the severity of poverty measures are larger for female-headed households compared to households headed by males.
It is this grim reality that has compelled global beauty and personal care company, Avon Justine, to launch a poverty alleviation programme in 2010 known as Thuthukisa, which loosely translates to building together. This initiative is the first of its kind within the company and has, to date, invested approximately R600 000 in two early childhood development projects in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.
In Kwa-Zulu Natal, Avon Justine built a daycare facility for the working mothers at the Embo community in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This facility replaced a derelict shack which was previously used as a daycare facility.
This is as part of Justine Thuthukisa Together programme which seeks to build and support impoverished communities in South Africa.
The daycare facility is named Siyajabula, which is an isiZulu word that means: we are happy. The funding will be used to build an extra classroom for Grade R.
“Early child development is very crucial as it is the most important building block that determines the future academic progress of any child. Research has shown that the emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become. That is why as Avon Justine, we believe that investing in young children is important to maximise their future well-being,” ays Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director for Avon Justine Turkey, Middle East & Africa.
“At Avon, we are harnessing the power of beauty to facilitate access to learning opportunities for children in this community. We hope that through this intervention, we remarkably improve the learning outcomes for children and this institution,” he explains.
“The building of this daycare facility has enabled female members of the community, who are mostly caregivers, to find employment or acquire new skills comfortable in the knowledge that their children are taken care of and learning in a safe environment.”