Kids shown love

The Centre of Early Childhood Development's events co-ordinator, Najwah Mukadam, teaches one of the little girls to make shapes with play dough.

Children at the Christine Revell Children’s Home enjoyed International Children’s Day with a jumping castle, making shapes with play dough and eating hot dogs last Friday, all made possible by the Centre of Early Childhood Development (CECD) and the Cape Town Museum of Childhood.

The Christine Revell Children’s Home takes care of 49 children, aged from newborn until 5½ years old, who come from abusive or neglectful homes in different areas and are placed via the Children’s Court.

CECD events co-ordinator, Najwah Mukadam, said that every year the centre hosts a programme for International Children’s Day which is celebrated on June 1, at different early childhood development (ECD) centres, but this year they chose the children’s home to make the children feel loved and cherished as most of them come from traumatic backgrounds.

She said it’s important to acknowledge International Children’s Day as it celebrates the rights and and well-being of children.

“We think it’s important that their rights are acknowledged and that their needs are taken note of. It’s important to raise awareness about the day so that people realise that there are so many children without homes. We’ve chosen the home because not a lot of emphasis gets put on these homes, where these kids are without their parents. We just want to make them feel loved and appreciated and to let them know that we care about them,” she said.

The day was celebrated by including two hours of free play as the children have a strict routine every day.

They jumped on jumping castles, made shapes with play dough, had their faces painted, and each received a hot dog and a party packet as well as a book from Book Dash. There was also a bubble machine for the children to enjoy.

Director of the Christine Revell Children’s Home, Alicia Rhoda, said she is extremely grateful that the Centre of Early Childhood Development and the Cape Town Museum of Childhood chose to celebrate the day at the home.

“All children are important, even if it is the neighbour’s child and not your own. Children cannot fend for themselves and as adults we need to take care of them and protect them,” she said.

Chanel Fredericks, outreach worker at the Cape Town Museum of Childhood, said children have a bright future ahead of them and it is important to celebrate their young lives.

“We wanted to celebrate this day with them because it is about children.

“Many of them don’t have contact with their parents or family members so today we want to play with them and spend time with them. We need to create awareness about these homes because often they are the forgotten members of society.

“We all need to remember them and take some time and donate it to them, we have that responsibility as a society,” she said.