Sunbeam creche – Out with the old and in with the new!

We received the design drawings for the Sunbeam creche today and to be honest, I have butterflies of happiness dancing around in my stomach!

Knowing you are working towards something and then actually physically seeing it are two entirely different things!

From a Wendy house to accommodate a few extra children, we now have a fully fledged Early Centre for Development (ECD) that is 100% compliant with the Department of Social Development. It will be the first properly complaint ECD of its kind in the Westlake Informal settlement – a wonderful milestone and the first of many we hope to build for the precious, young children of Westlake.

My heart ached the very first time I visited one of the creches in Westlake. I went home feeling sad, depressed and overwhelmed at the magnitude of the hardship these little children have to endure. Long hours of sitting on a cold, hard floor, no toys, no books, nothing to comfort these children. I felt heart-broken!

Fast forward one month later and I was asked to join the board of the Orphan Care Foundation and to invite 3 or 4 new members to join us.

During our new board member induction, our team was introduced to Shanel Matambo who owns the Sunbeam creche together with her mom Priscrlla Matambo and her younger sister Mariska. Her creche, although seriously lacking in any facilities is spotless and the children in her care are magnificently cared for and happy!

When we were told Sunbeam is facing closure, we knew that there was no way we could let that happen to the precious children at Sunbeam and their amazing carers, Priscilla, Shanel and Mariska!

Sunbeam creche in Westlake

Sunbeam creche – ready for transformation

Our team set to work with fund-raising campaigns, we contacted the press to spread Sunbeam creche’s plight and two weeks later we have raised almost R90000 thank you to the amazing, kind and wonderful generosity of people from around the world!

So it is with the greatest delight that we can now share our designers impressions of the soon to be built Sunbeam creche with you!

The ECD will be equipped with two separate areas for the children allowing us to separate the babies from the older children, a sick bay to separate ill children from healthy ones, a small office for Shanel to meet and give feedback to parents on their children’s development and a separate sleep area for the little tots who sleep over whilst their parents work at night.

Sunbeam creche – proposed new design

We are also adding two little toilets for the tots and a new toilet for the adults, an outdoor play area with synthetic grass and a new room for Shanel and her daughter to sleep in.

Sunbeam creche - new build

Sunbeam creche – outdoor play area and bunks

We have just received the final quotation for the Sunbeam build and it’s R158000!

Quite a bit more than our original estimation but that’s because we are building Sunbeam ECD by the book so that it is a lasting legacy in the Westlake community and so that it can be an Early Childhood Development Centre where the children that attend Sunbeam are 100% school ready and are able to have a more equal opportunity at succeeding in life!

Thank you for your love and support!

Kind regards,

Ursula and The Orphan Care Team – Martin, Louise, David, Christiane, Sue, Rex and Bonnie

p.s If you’re still not convinced we are doing the right thing, please read an excerpt of a report recently published by The DG Murry Trust, titled The First Comprehensive Review of Early Childhood Development in South Africa.

Early learning: inequality reigns  

“The returns on investment in early learning, for children under 6, are vastly higher than those from later education, even primary schooling,” says Giese.  “Science tells us that early stimulation’s impact on language and numerical ability is immense. The results are life-long: they affect people’s job prospects and earning potential, so early learning is important not only for individuals, but for breaking inter-generational cycles of poverty.”

“There is great inequality across early learning opportunities for South African children,” added Giese.  “Children from wealthier families have better access to better quality early learning and therefore have a better chance of succeeding in school and in life. Inequality in SA will never be addressed as long as we continue to have inequality in early life opportunity.”

The impact on later education is evident.  The Annual National Assessments show that over 40% of children aren’t able to perform at the expected level in numeracy and literacy by the end of the foundation phase (Grade 3), and performance is poorest amongst the poorest.

“The performance gap that we see at this early stage widens as these children progress through the schooling system,” says Giese.” The DG Murry Trust.

Meet Shanel Matambo – owner of Sunbeam creche

Today my heart is singing a happy tune!

Thank you to your amazing generosity and kindness we have achieved R68500 so far!

Almost there:-) Can you help us reach R100000?

Listen to the wonderful owner of Sunbeam creche, Shanel Matambo being interviewed by Pippa Hudson on Cape Talk Radio.

Hear her story and know that thanks to you, 36 children will still have a warm, safe creche to go to this winter.

Without your support these little children will either be sent to the Eastern Cape to live with relatives or what happens far too frequently is that older siblings are forced to stay at home so that their parents can continue to work.

Children at Sunbeam creche in Westlake

Sunbeam children giving Cape Town the thumbs up!

Daring to dream big!

As of today you have donated R57K, yes you read right…R57K!

Our new goal – R100K! We are almost there! Barely a week ago we pictured a pretty wendy house, today a whole new beautiful, brand new creche! The power of working together, united to a achieve a common goal!

Franziska’s death will not be in vain. What could have easily divided our communities has united us and together we will transform Westlake one project at a time!

Friends and people whom I know can ill afford to give, just keep giving! Small businesses in our community have come forward and offered building supplies and donations. People have come forward with offers of toys and books!

Reddam House Constantia has joined forces with the Orphan Care Foundation and is fund-raising to help us achieve our goal!

Their maintenance team are hard at work with our team at Orphan Care Foundation to design the most functional, gorgeous, inspiring environment for our little peeps to learn in, think in and grow in!

People from around the world have heard our plight and we have received donations from Isle of Man, United Kingdom and some money pledged from a little creche in New Zealand also called Sunbeam!

Wonderful ladies have asked how much Chanel charges per month to look after our little beings and have kindly offered to sponsor some children – those whose parents can ill afford to pay the fees while they are hard at work or looking for work!

I am in contact with amazing ladies from Starting Chance, Ali and her team connected with us via Tracy Stallard and are guiding us on EDC’s build design and teaching programs having just completed 3 themselves!

The ladies of @WOW – Woman of Westlake are helping us find men in the Westlake community who will work with us to break down the old creche and re-build the new!

This is what ubuntu looks like!

Please listen in tomorrow at 2:30pm when Bonnie Jacoby Bester and Chanel are interviewed on Cape Talk. We’re hoping Candice Botha at KFMis better soon and gets us connected on air too!

Please continue to spread the word…our journey has just begun!

It takes a village to raise a child – help us raise our children.

If you would like to make a difference, work with us, share with us, dream with us!

Help us build Sunbeam!

Sunbeam creche Westlake – transforming little lives

The last few days have been beyond exciting!

What started off as a small plea to help raise R14000 for a wendy house to stop the Sunbeam creche in Westlake from being closed down has escalated into a community coming together beyond our wildest dreams! We are all united for one common cause – transforming little lives.

Since Friday’s post we have unfortunately heard that our wendy house idea will not meet the City of Cape Town’s latest health and safety regulations for a creche as these are deemed to be a fire hazard in an informal settlement!

Knowing that and our very short time frame we contacted Reddam House on Friday afternoon and received confirmation half an hour later that Reddam House would send their maintenance team to meet us on site this morning and would also assist us with raising some of the additional funds we need to do this properly with the maximum impact and with sustainability and resiliency.

Today I walked into Sunbeam with more hope in my heart than I have ever felt. The response from our community and individuals as far as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Isle of Man has been astounding. Testament to the fact that we are all loving individuals who want to see a lasting transformation in our South Africa. We want our future children to grow into leaders who can inspire us and lead with love and courage. The only way we will grow these leaders is by instilling the idea from an early age that they are worth it!

Looking at these faces today was the best gift ever. I know with a 100% certainty that their lives will be changed. We will make an impact. We will start small and continue to positively impact one little life at a time.

Sunbeam creche Westlake - meet the little lives

Sunbeam creche – meet the little ones

Our team together with Reddam House have decided that our best course of action will be to convert 3 shipping containers into the creche and sleeping quarters for the children who overnight with Chanel and to do away with all the make shift structures! We were able to reach this conclusion because of the unbelievable love and compassion our community has! We have already raised R44200 and we think we can double that now!

Why dream small when you can dream BIG and do things the way they are meant to be done – with passion, courage, love, hope and the idea that by transforming these little lives will give these beautiful individuals the idea that they are special! That they are worth us using our energy and our resources to create a space that can transform their lives one child at a time.

Our education system is not focused on children age 0-2 – this is the most valuable time in any developing child’s life. What chance do these individuals have to become leaders in our country if we can’t lead, teach and raise these children with love, compassion and ubuntu – it takes a village to raise a child. Help us raise our children.

Help us transform one creche at a time! This is only the beginning of an exciting journey about to unfold. I can’t help but think Franziska’s death will not be in vain – her death united us as a community when it could so easily have had the opposite effect. Join hands with us and make a difference today and for the future!

Much love,

Ursula & the Orphan Care Foundation team!

Sunbeam - transforming spaces

Sunbeam creche – Transforming spaces for little faces.

Urgent appeal for donations – Sunbeam creche closure

Westlake creche

Sunbeam creche in Westlake facing closure

The Orphan Care Foundation is responsible for assisting 51 vulnerable children and orphans in the Westlake Community in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Started 8 years ago by Martin Oosthuizen and his wife Louise, the foundation now also provides assistance to 7 BADISA registered safe houses and we also provide assistance to 3 crèches who look after another 90+ children whose parents often leave for work at 5:30am and only return to collect their children again around 7:30pm.

One such crèche, Sunbeam operated by Chanel and Priscilla Matambo cares for 32 children ranging in age from three babies less than 6 months old to toddlers age 4 is about to be closed down by the City of Cape Town due to the fact that Sunbeam has outgrown the legal capacity for the number of children in their care at their current premises.

Chanel a passionate and dedicated care-giver and child-minder is devastated and has been trying to save up money to expand her facilities but the cost of doing so is beyond her means.

Charging a mere R200 per child per month and often accepting far less if the parents cannot afford to pay the full amount, Chanel often feeds the children in her care out of her own pocket and has provided sleeping facilities for 5 children whose parents work night shift. The children in her care are beautifully looked after and happy – this is testament to Chanel’s passion for the well being of the children in her care.

We cannot afford for this crèche to be closed and for these children to be placed on the street. This is their only option as the other crèches in Westlake are also full to capacity and honestly not nearly as beautifully run as Sunbeam.

We are urgently appealing to companies like Builder’s Warehouse, Pole Yard, Penny Pinchers, Timber City and our local community to help raise funds to purchase a Wendy house and to build a secure wall costing R14000. We have until the 14th June to have an additional structure in place or Sunbeam will be closed down.

The Orphan Care foundation is a registered NPO and any donations received from businesses or companies will receive a 18A tax certificate.

If you are able to help donate cash towards purchasing a Wendy House for the Sunbeam crèche, you can do so via EFT or Credit Card. Please use reference, Surname / Sunbeam for our records.

If you require a 18A tax certificate, please email

Bank :ABSA Bank, Shop 105, Blue Route Mall, Tokai, 7945, Cape Town

Account name : Orphan Care Foundation, P.O. Box 837, Constantia, 7848, Cape Town

Account number :9213623189

Branche code: 632005


Sunbeam creche in Westlake requires urgent donations