Omnia collaborates with Mamas Alliance to strengthen ECD practitioners and create sustainable value to practice.
Effective CSI initiatives make it possible for vulnerable communities to progress through the sharing of expertise and provision of resources.
In line with its core values of delivering community programmes for long-term sustainability and impact, Omnia Group’s agriculture and mining division (BME) sponsored a training programme for Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners in rural areas who have minimal resources. The impact will be life-changing for hundreds of children who will receive a good educational foundation and ensure life-long learning.
In the Department of Basic Education’s 2022/2023 annual performance plan published in March 2022, Minister Angie Motshekga said the department was expected to take over Early Childhood Development functions from 1 April of 2022/23, with the government planning to focus heavily on foundational learning in the coming years. One of the key proposals was to see Grade R learning become mandatory at schools in South Africa, with the government hoping to improve outcomes around reading and mathematics as children enter the education system earlier.
“The private sector through NPOs is taking major strides in addressing not only learning gaps and challenges but also in advancing this mission and new intention of the Department of education. Omnia is one such organization that is furthering the agenda of advancing the quality of ECD in Mpumalanga province.” Says Calisto Kondowe a CSI Consultant at Mamas Alliance
Protecting value creation through good governance
To ensure sustainable value creation, Omnia in the Mpumalanga Province sponsored the training of 30 unemployed members of the Dryden community as ECD practitioners on two accredited (ETDPSETA) programmes; ‘Care for Babies, Toddlers and Young Children’; and ‘Interacting with Toddlers, Babies, and Young Children’ recently.
The project was based in Dryden (Mpumalanga), where most practitioners in the area work in remote villages and on farms. Most practitioners live in under-resourced areas and have no access to ECD Centres. There was a great need for them to be trained in order to support children who have no access to learning activities.
The intention of the programme was to provide the necessary skills through formal training which was provided for by a funded short course. This was for those who were interested in investing in community development by imparting their knowledge to children, parents, and caregivers.
Omnia identified a Human Capital investment through a partnership with Mamas Alliance CSI Agency – an organisation with a network of 37 independent NPOs that specialises in Early Childhood Development including resources and training.
After successful training, practitioners were introduced into the ECD world. They received introductory packs on how to run a simple playground, nutritional requirements; and the importance of creating a safe, secure, healthy, and stimulating environment for babies, toddlers, and young children. They also learnt to identify the signs of distress and abuse in children and learnt about the referral channels in Early Childhood Development.
Collaborative partnerships improve lives
Omnia Fertilizers supports the practitioners on skills in the learning space of the ECD workforce, to communities they serve – children, parents, caregivers and themselves – through knowledge sharing and skills development. This increases opportunities for practitioners who then have access to career pathways.
“Omnia’s support extends to a holistic programme of tuition, meals, accommodation and travel costs. The partnership between Omnia and Mamas Alliance proves that social cohesion improves lives, especially from an early age, right through to holistic development – which ultimately contributes towards a balanced life for beneficiaries,” said Calisto Kondowe – CSI Consultant at Mamas Alliance.