Top-end international designer, Catherine Deane, is making good on her promise to invest in the future of South African children and has given more than R100 000 to The Unlimited Child within three months of signing up as ambassador for this non-profit organisation committed to improving early childhood development throughout South Africa.
Deane, who was born and raised in Durban, has offices in Hong Kong, London and New York and A-list clients such as Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Fergie and Pippa Middleton and commencing with her 2012 Autumn Winter collection, Catherine Deane will make a donation from the sale of each dress to The Unlimited Child.
During her visit to South Africa in August, Deane visited a number of crèches in the Valley of 1000 Hills. “The difference between the children in the crèches that have applied The Unlimited Child model is huge and it’s incredible to see how the caregivers embrace this opportunity. The whole experience has been unbelievably motivating and has given new meaning to my role as an international ambassador,” says Deane.
Established in 2008, The Unlimited Child actively addresses the dire need for early childhood development in South Africa. The work being done by the organisation is based on studies that have proven that unless children under the age of seven years are exposed to the correct inputs such as learning colours and shapes through educational toys, their potential in life will be severely stunted.
Currently, there are over 6 million children aged 0 to 7 in South Africa, who have little or no exposure to early childhood development and urgent intervention is required to optimise their future abilities. The Unlimited Child makes immediate impact on the lives of young children by supplying crèches with educational toys specifically designed to develop cognitive, fine and gross motor skills in pre-school children. At the same time, crèche caregivers are trained to ensure they know how to maximise the use of the toys and create stimulating learning environments.
Using a simple, but proven model that is easily duplicated, The Unlimited Child has already successfully reached over 22,000 children in over 310 crèches and trained more than 900 caregivers.
According to Cassy Healey, CEO of The Unlimited Child, the organisation aims to reach 1,2 million children throughout South Africa over the next five years, but additional funding and duplication of the model by other organisations are required to reach this goal.
“Crèche costs vary with size, but the cost of a medium crèche for about 90 children is just R36 000 for the first year. The caregivers are fully trained in this initial year and receive their toy kits immediately after training,” says Healey.
“By giving caregivers access to these toys and training them how to use them to stimulate the children, we are helping them to prepare these children for school. Through play the children attain valuable language, numeracy and motor skills, while also receiving life skills training in terms of socialisation and sharing. With these vital skills, children enter school with ready minds and the capacity to maximise their potential,” says Healey.
“Deny a child pre-school learning and you deny our country a future. Through The Unlimited Child, we have the means in our hands to truly shift this country and its children’s lives, but this cannot be done without the support of big hearted patrons such as Catherine Deane. We are truly grateful for this wonderful contribution that will directly impact the lives of over 200 South African children forever,” concludes Healey.
There are so many ways to help The Unlimited Child – from donating your time and talent, to your unused items or by simply spreading the word. For more information on how you can make a difference to the future of your youth, visit www.theunlimitedchild.co.za.
For more on Catherine Deane, click on www.catherinedeane.com
More Info: http://www.theunlimitedchild.co.za
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Catherine Dean visiting creches in the Valley of 1000 Hills Photographer: The Unlimited
Catherine Deane visiting creches in The Value of 1000 Hills Photographer: The Unlimited
Documents\Catherine Deane’s fashion with a heart for children Photographer: The Unlimited