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Kariega Foundation Supporting Early Childhood Education

Kariega Rainbow Kids With New Painted Classroom

Today is Human Rights Day and it marks the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, as well as many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.

Education is a core conservation focus of the Kariega Foundation, along with protection and preservation. We support research that emphasises the importance of Early Childhood Education (ECD) for optimal brain development but also shows that ECD is the most critical intervention for breaking cycles of poverty.   

The Kariega Foundation works with ten ECD centres across three rural communities with the key objective of lifting the overall quality and delivery of ECD in our area. 

Our main achievements to date have been funding the implementation and training of the Early Inspirations ECD curriculum; donating and delivering carpets to all centres; and most recently, thanks to generous donations from Global Conservation Force and Build It Bushmans along with much physical help from the Kariega Foundation team and Kariega Volunteers, we completed an extensive infrastructure upgrade to the Rainbow ECD Centre in Klipfontein.

Kariega Foundation Manager, Joné Haesslich gives an insightful and inspiring rendition of how this amazing project unfolded. A heartfelt thank you to everyone involved.

Kariega Foundation staff and GCF eco-group at Rainbow Day Care

Atmosphere Encourages Learning

“When the atmosphere encourages learning, the learning is inevitable”, by Elizabeth Foss.

The environment in a classroom or school influences the learners mood, feelings, and ability to learn. So, when the opportunity arose to upgrade and transform a classroom at the Rainbow Day Care Centre in the Klipfontein community outside Kenton-on-Sea, we jumped on it. 

The walls were scrubbed, painted; flooring was replaced; doors were sanded down and varnished. Then an impressive looking blackboard was added onto the wall with spray paint. This was delicately finished with a vibrant rainbow as a border. But the pièce de resistance, were painstakingly painted murals on the walls of the classroom.   

Rainbow Day Care murals and new floor in progress

Keeping with the theme of conservation and animals, we decided to have different animal themes on each wall. The first being an ocean scene with a dolphin, a whale, some jellyfish, a crab and even a little penguin. The biggest of the walls was used for the savannah and wildlife scene which included some more known animals like a lion, elephant, giraffe, monkey, and tortoise. The remaining walls were used to bring some domestic animals into the mix, and included a dog called Spot, a kitty cat, a chicken, and some donkeys munching on hay.

When the children returned to school after their holiday, they couldn’t believe their little eyes when they saw their improved classroom. They seemed confused at first, but then started enjoying the new additions and were playing games to find the different animals called out by the principal, Mrs. Phumla Nombewu. 

These murals will go a long way to teach the children from a young age about nature, which is what is needed to change the mindsets of generations about caring for the earth and everything on it.

One Good Deed Leads to Another

Sometimes, one good deed can lead to another, which is the truth in the case of this story!

When I took Dylan Lottering, the local Build It Bushmans Manager, to see what had been achieved, he was very impressed, but he was more interested in something else he noticed. The school had a makeshift room at the back, constructed from zink sheets and rhino board. Dylan planted the seed of increasing the size of the extension and converting the structure to brick and mortar. He generously added that Build It would donate all the building materials for the project, but the Kariega Foundation had to cover the building costs for the project.

The Build It team with Kariega Volunteers

The Kariega Foundation enjoys healthy relationships with a number of like-minded, partner organisations globally. One of our partners, Global Conservation Force, was bringing an eco-group to Kariega Game Reserve and they were looking for a community project to support and get involved in during their six night safari with us. The building project at the Rainbow Day Care Centre fit their project criteria perfectly and they committed to the funding requirements.

The makeshift extension at the Rainbow Day Care before the renovation

A few very busy weeks later the job was complete, and the end result was amazing! The school now has a kitchen, a new bathroom with kiddies-sized toilets and basins, and a new secure and leak free classroom.   

A heartfelt thank you to Dylan and Build It along with some of their suppliers for donating all the construction materials; the Global Conservation Force (GCF) Eco Group for funding the cost of the builder and his team and the Kariega Foundation team together with the Kariega Volunteers who worked tirelessly on the finer details to complete the project.

The renovated Rainbow Day Care Centre with it's new sign

We are so grateful for our partners in conservation and community rejuvenation. Together we made this dream come true for Phumla and the Rainbow Day Care Centre.

There are ten ECD centres in our three local communities that we work with. Each of them have an infrastructure upgrade wish list! 

If you would like to work with us on one of these future projects please email us on

You can be part of our growing legacy of rejuvenation for our planet, people and wildlife!

2022 Graduation at Rainbow Day Care Centre