charity profile

Singakwenza, meaning “We can do it!”, is a non-profit organisation based in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, which aims to build sustainable Early Childhood Education programmes in economically disadvantaged communities, using recycling to make resources.

Our goal is to teach as many parents, educators and community workers as we can about the importance of learning through play (as opposed to rote learning and meaningless repetition which is what is currently happening in so many early learning centres) and to show them how easy it is to provide fun activities for their children so that they can develop vital educational foundations.

Did you know that almost 80% of a person’s brain potential is developed by the age of 4?
Did you know that most of this potential is built while a child is playing?

Most caregivers of the almost 5.7 million children under the age of 4 in South Africa are not aware of the fact that they are holding the future of our country in their hands. What an exciting - and daunting - prospect!
However, so many young children (our future engineers, doctors, teachers...) spend most of their days in a barren room with an unskilled caregiver as the high cost of training and educational toys makes them unavailable to many crèches.

Singakwenza decided that a creative and sustainable solution to this problem was needed and has developed a whole range of educational toys that teach the same concepts as purchased toys, but for zero cost. Bread bags now become skipping ropes, margarine containers become cars, polystyrene trays become puzzles, yoghurt containers become shape sorters and cereal boxes become dice.

All the parent or crèche teacher needs is a pair of sharp scissors and a marker pen, and she will be able to get everything she needs to provide a fun-filled, stimulating environment….from the bin! And if a toy breaks or gets lost, it is easy (and free) to make another one. In addition, packaging that would usually be thrown away now has a value for both adults and children, so the programme is good for the environment too!


early childhood education

Singakwenza, meaning “we can do it!” In Isizulu, aims to build sustainable early childhood education programmes in economically disadvantaged communities. A charity based in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, we teach caregivers about the importance of young children learning through play, using resources made solely from recycling. Learn more about Singakwenza

mentorship programme

Singakwenza trainers mentor crèche caregivers in their own crèches one day a week, every week, for a minimum of two years. They teach each caregiver how to educate her children using resources made from recycling and the significance of each activity in terms of Early Childhood Development. Their role is to walk alongside these crèche teachers, guiding and encouraging them towards a daily fun, structured, educational programme, so that when we leave, the programme will continue without us.

waste 2 toys workshops

We teach parents, educators and community workers how to make their own toys and teaching materials using household packaging that is usually thrown away, with the focus on the importance of learning through play. Each workshop covers a different area of learning, and they are run in areas throughout South Africa and other countries where access to resources is limited.

Back to List