“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better” [Pat Riley].

It is an honour and privilege to be part of a process that recognises and rewards excellence in a challenging environment.  Within the Early Childhood Development field, there is no time for mediocrity and through our training and mentorship programmes, we have seen pre-school teachers and principals grow, develop and be truly empowered. The challenges these educators face are often extreme. but their commitment and dedication to ensure all children have access to quality ECD programmes is what sets them apart. 

Thank you each and every one of you – whether award-winners or not – for facing the challenges with grace and optimism.  In the words of award recipient Zukiswa Mabumbulu:
“Masikhule has given me wings and now I can fly”. 

We appreciate all our supporters and wish you all a blessed festive season.

Léanne Keet



With Léanne Lind Keet, Karen Bufé, Coreen Vlok, Sandy Immelman, Jeanine Andro, Lulama Ntulini, Else de Jong, Thembakazi Njokweni and some of our wonderfully loyal supporters.

Thanks to Anton and the staff of Sage & Thyme for hosting us.


Our Top 6 Awards 2018 event in November to honour those principals, teachers and ECD Centres that have really shone during the year is always a highlight for us. It is wonderful to be able to give recognition to those who have really shown commitment and determination, and who have succeeded in various spheres – shining a light for us all. May this be the inspiration for a fruitful and gratifying 2019!

Best ECD Program for 3 - 5 year olds

Apple Trophy awarded to Ronel Paulse and Gaironegia Visagie of Playway Pre-Primary 


This award is in recognition of a very capable team that has worked conscientiously to develop and implement a holistic ECD Programme for the 3-5 year old children. Gairo and Ronel have created a vibrant learning atmosphere in their classrooms,using skills acquired on the Advanced ECD Course to implement new theme-based activities and boost existing ones. Membership of the Teachers’ Resource Library added much value to the classroom planning as well as enjoyment to the children. 

Best implementation of Masikhule Nutrition Program

Deborah Hoepfl Trophy awarded to Twinkle Star Crèche 

Jennifer April and her team were worthy recipients of this award. Within the first month of attending our Best Nutrition Training, Jennifer had implemented our suggested menus, managed her kitchen more efficiently and after the first month had a savings of R800 from her food budget which she used to tile the kitchen floor!  She has continued to offer 40 young children at her Centre in Strand two nutritious meals every day.  Jennifer is a highly motivated, insightful and dynamic Principal.  

Masikhule Library Member of the Year

Vlok Family Trophy awarded to Bundles of Joy Educare

“It was with great pleasure that I presented Mary Wales from Bundles of Joy with this Award,” said Jeanine Andro, Library Manager.

“Mary regularly visited the library throughout 2018 to fetch new themes and resources for her center. She clearly realizes the advantage that her access to the resources at the library has for the children at her center, and she fully utilized these resources.  She effectively communicated with the library staff, sending us photos of her theme tables and the activities the children were able to do as a result of the resources and information provided at the library.  Mary takes pride in returning all items on time and in a good condition, and it is just a pleasure seeing a principal so enthusiastic about this Masikhule project.”

Most Promising Newcomer of the Year

Fiona Drysdale Trophy awarded to Kumnandi Educare

Kumnandi became a part of the Masikhule team last year and they are growing from strength to strength thanks to Estella Cookson and her committed team working toward a shared objective, which is evident during the many visits and interactions we have had with all three staff members. 

“We were very pleased to be able reward their efforts with this trophy and know it will serve to inspire them further.” said Karen Bufé, their Mentor.

Best Planning and Consistent Application of an ECD Program

Masikhule Trophy (Moira) awarded to Sunshine Kiddies

Overcoming many obstacles this year, Sunshine Kiddies has proven through their consistent commitment that strength is gained through adversity. Despite continuous infrastructure developments taking place, Janetta and her staff have worked tirelessly to maintain a balanced ECD Programme. This effort is clearly recognized when one visits the Centre and sees the new plans that are being made into reality, the wonderful work that is being produced by the children, and above all how happy the children are. As Janetta always says: “The only way is forward, fast or slow as long as you are moving you are going somewhere.”  We look forward to seeing where Sunshine’s Kiddies journey will take them in 2019.

Teacher of Excellence Award 2018

Masikhule Trophy (Jungawarded to Zukiswa Mabumbulu

Zukiswa got the Teacher of Excellence Award due to her managing to implement each and every aspect of the Advanced ECD Course to great effect. Not only during initial assessment, but on a ongoing basis – when no one but kids were watching and waiting to be stimulated through play. She planned her theme-based lessons diligently and encouraged the children to do ALL sorts of creative craft work and involved them in fun outdoor games. Coreen Vlok, her Masikhule Mentor commented that “Her classroom is a lovely example  of variety implemented! Zukiswe is one of the few teachers who somehow managed to convince parents to bring enough recycle items for kids to use.”

Masikhule makes a positive contribution to the upliftment of communities through skills training, mentorship and capacity building in the field of Early Childhood Development.

The name Masikhule means
‘Let us Grow’ in isiXhosa.

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