Southern Africa Alumnae Helps Revive Early Childhood Partner

Submitted by: Debra Townes and Nomhle Canca

Training Resource in Early Education (TREE) was started 38 years ago by Molly Bailey and her husband to provide for the training of Early Childhood Education Practitioners of infant and pre-school children all over South Africa. They also assist entrepreneurs to start Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centers in their communities to ensure the education readiness of children.

TREE was disrupted by COVID as was the experience of the national educational sector. A further disruption occurred in July 2021, when the city Durban experienced civil unrest in the form of mass riots that led to the random destruction of infrastructure and the loss of life.

TREE was looted over a three-day period for a total of $9 million ($600 000) in equipment and infrastructure rendering TREE unable to service the marginalized communities that were further disrupted by the same civil unrest.

Fortunately, TREE’s relationship with the donor community allowed them to rebuild their network and infrastructure over the past nine months since the July 2021 riots.

April 22, 2022 represents a rebirth of TREE’s organizational capacity and services to the community developed educationally over the past 38 years. Delta Sigma Theta’s Southern Africa Alumnae Chapter has contributed a Camwood Tree to TREE in acknowledgment of its rebirth as well as DST’s and SAAC’s commitment to support them for the next 38 years.

In attendance were representatives of the Premier’s Office (Governor’s Office), the MEC of Education (Mayor’s Representative on Education), the TREE Donor Community as well as ECD Practitioners.

As April 22 is Earth Day globally, the planting of the Camwood Tree in TREE’S yard also serves to demonstrate Delta Sigma Theta’s commitment to environmental protection. By planting of trees that children can watch grow makes the world a happier, healthier place to live.

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