Due to Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori winning the Eastern Cape Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD) Centre of the year and the Practitioner of the year award for the Eastern Cape. we had to be in Johannesburg on 24 March 2015 for the SA ECD Awards, to represent the Eastern Cape.  The SA ECD Awards are hosted by the National Development Agency in partnership with the South African Congress for Early Childhood Development, ABSA, SABC Education, Department of Basic Education (DBE), Social Development (DSD) and UNICEF.


Irene and I were due to leave Coffee Bay at 8am on Tuesday, 24 April, but unfortunately the shuttle driver coming from East London to fetch us, hit a cow at Idutywa :-( a long way from here…..so we caught the Coffee Shack shuttle up to Mthatha and managed to get our flights changed, to fly from Mthatha, rather than from East London….6pm take-off from Mthatha and Irene’s first time to fly :-)

There were 2 representatives from each province, for each category….ECD centre of the year and Practitioner of the year.  I was going to represent myself and Irene was going to represent Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori…..it was really cool to meet other women who were doing the same thing …..in rural areas….. in their provinces…..facing the same challenges :-)

We were all put up at Sun Square Hotel at Montecasino in Johannesburg – WOW – amazing! but hectic when you come from a rural place like Coffee Bay…. :-) We had a work shop on the 1st day to prepare s for us for the presentations the following day.  We would be presenting ourselves/our school to high up people from the NDA, DBE, UNICEF and Department of Health, who knew nothing about us…….

After the workshop and a couple of nervous tears later, all the speeches changed……a glass of red wine, my workshop notes, gazing out over Montescasino’s water feature, by night……and the final speech was written.

Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori

The presentations were nerve-racking…for everyone, but all the candidates shared a great camraderie…which was lovely to be a part of.  And that night it was the final awards……

SA ECD Awards - The Ballroom, Montecasino
SA ECD Awards – The Ballroom, Montecasino

WOW!! What a lovely venue…

Irene in traditional Xhosa dress

What amazing comperes and speakers and what delicious food!!  It was a wonderful night enjoyed by all and when they announced the SA Practitioner of the year  2014, and called my name…I was gob smacked…… I remember saying, haai bo, haai, bo, haai bo, and then it was just cameras, lights and flashes…like the grammy awards :-)

Practitioner of the year award 2014
Practitioner of the year award 2014

Speakers of the night at the event included Dr Vuyelwa Nhlapho, CEO of the NDA, Ms  Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Deputy Minister DoSD) and Ms Bathabile Dlamini (Minister of Social Development). Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori is very proud to have achieved this award and we are really hoping that it will assist us in our sponsorship and fundraising endeavours.

Thank you

Dawn and all at Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori





Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori attend SA ECD Awards

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