WINDHOEK - The love to educate and inspire children in her community particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds motivated 25-year-old Johanna Kasera to open a kindergarten in the informal settlement of Babylon. Kasera, a Grade 9 dropout, narrated to New Era on Wednesday that she had been unemployed for many years. But nearly two years ago, she eventually was employed at a kindergarten not so far from where she lives. But the salary she received was so meagre she could hardly meet her needs and that of her family. “When they sent me for training for one week, I decided it was time for me to quit and start my own kindergarten,” says Kasera who left the kindergarten in November last year. By then she only had a year and three months experience. “In December I started planning how I would open my kindergarten and how it would operate,” she reminisced. Kasera then opened her own kindergarten which she named after her daughter Rose, in her parents’ house. The makeshift structure made out of zinc sheets accommodates 52 children from Babylon and its surroundings, she says. “My father helped me buy the zinc to start my school. I bought chairs and tables with the money I saved from my previous job where I worked as a caregiver,” she explains. Kasera bought the tables and chairs for N$1 200, she tells. “I charge the parents N$50 per month to keep their children here,” she says. Kasera who works with 22-year old Jenny Geingos, who was also unemployed, says not all the parents pay their children’s fees. “Like now only 20 parents paid and I have 52 children,” she added. Kasera pays Geingos N$500 monthly for her efforts. “She was also unemployed for many years and I asked her to help me,” Kasera shares. Geingos is a Grade 10 dropout and from the brief stay at the crèche by New Era it was evident the two young people are passionate about working with children. Kasera explains she and Geingos use the curriculum of Amos (developed by pre-primary school teachers), whereby she was trained to teach children. “We have work books which we use to teach the children,” Kasera adds. The duo have to prepare for the next day’s lessons when the children go home at 17h00. She says every morning the children are first taught the Bible before actual lessons commence. She adds that the children are taught how to count, paint, draw, alphabets, the human body, shapes, colours, seasons and the clock, amongst other things. “The children are fast learners and they remember what we teach them,” says Kasera with a smile on her face. The children at the kindergarten are from 3 to 6 years of age, Kasera says. “We divided the children into two groups. The small ones sit on a mattress on the floor while the big ones sit at the tables. During breaks the children go outside the classroom,” Kasera says. She explains that the classroom is too small and the chairs and tables are not enough for all the children. “This is something I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to help the children in the community to know how to read and write. I want to help children who are suffering,” says Kasera when asked if teaching was something she always dreamt of doing. Meanwhile Geingos, who started working at the kindergarten in February, says she always wanted to be a teacher and that she has learnt so much in the month that she’s worked at the crèche. “Teaching is very nice. I have learnt how to work with children,” says Geingos. “People must always try their best to work instead of being idle. I also struggled a lot until I started praying. They must also pray because God is there. I am still praying for God to send me sponsors,” she said, adding that she needs sponsorships to enhance the classroom, buy toys and learning material for the children as well as to provide them with meals. “Currently the parents have to pack food for their children,” says Kasera. She also said that she registered the crèche with the City of Windhoek and is currently in the process of registering it with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
New Era Reporter
2015-03-06 08:07:45 4 years ago