Diphetogo Creche

During challenging Covid-19 lockdowns, Diphetogo crèche continues to receive support from the Firth Group

Over the course of the past 2 years, the Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to Diphetogo Crèche in Tswelelang township on the outskirts of Wolmaransstad, experiencing several monetary shortages with funding pledges not always materialising as expected or promised. This hasn’t made life easy for the small staff team running the crèche.

Thankfully, since 2016, the Firth Group manages to continue supporting Diphetogo Crèche, despite experiencing its own financial challenges owing to the protracted pandemic and accompanying downturn in the economy.

During a recent interview, Constance Sebothe, centre manager for Diphetogo crèche, said that throughout the entire pandemic, Maquassiespruit Farm (a Firth Group business unit) has continued to reliably support the crèche, “every month”.

On the whole, Diphetogo Crèche accommodates 70 pre-school children (35 girls and 35 boys) who live in Tswelelang. The age breakdown is as follows: 0-2 year olds (15 kids), 3 year olds (15 kids), 4-5 year olds (40 kids).

Diphetogo Creche
Seen here, captured during a Valentine’s Day visit by Firth Group’s staff team, a happy group of some of the many children who attend Diphetogo Crèche.
Photo credit: Maryke Groenewald (Firth Group)
Diphetogo crèche staff
(L-R) Staff team: Modiegi Sebothe (practitioner), Rebecca Madibo (practitioner), Kehilwe Mogoemang (practitioner), Julia Kole (cook) and Irene Lenamile (cleaner) Photo: Supplied

The crèche’s small staff team that looks after and cares for these children, comprises a centre manager (Constance Sebothe), a cook (Julia Kole), a cleaner (Irene Lenamile), and three practitioners who teach the children (Modiegi Sebothe, Kehilwe Mogoemang and Rebecca Madibo).

Constance says that most of their funding comes from the Department of Social Development. However, this is not sufficient to meet the daily running of the crèche’s needs. As such, further funding from donations takes care of the shortfalls in their budget.

Constance Sebothe
Centre manager: Constance Sebothe Photo: Supplied

The crèche opens at 7am. A typical day’s meals that have to be prepared, comprise porridge in the morning for breakfast, for mid-morning snack it’s a slice of brown bread with butter. Lunchtime meals at 12pm vary from: rice with chicken stew (Mondays), rice with cabbage and soup (Tuesdays), Macaroni with minced meat and potatoes mixed with carrots (Wednesdays), rice with soya-mince and cabbage (Thursdays), mashed potatoes and chicken livers (Fridays). Later on in the afternoon, at 2pm, the children get some fresh fruit. The crèche closes at 4pm. The staff team have their hands full for the whole day—a very challenging and responsible job indeed.

Diphetogo Crèche does its own procurement of food ingredients—from local suppliers at different stores in the area: for example, Johnny’s Market and Wolmaransstad Slaghuis (Butchery).

There are a total of 10 crèche’s in Tswelelang, with Diphetogo Crèche being the third-largest. The largest crèche accommodates 120 children and the second-largest crèche accommodates 100 children.

The building that Diphetogo Crèche operates from is donated by its owner, Maranatha Reformed Church of Christ—lead pastor, Reverend O. Kgabele.

Piet Botma, Managing Director of the Firth Group takes great pride in maintaining the essential supportive relationship that the business has with Diphetogo Crèche. It’s a small, yet meaningful way in which the business can plough back into lesser privileged communities in Wolmaransstad. 

Piet Botma
Piet Botma, Managing Director

Supporting Diphetogo Crèche is “our way of helping the next generation of leaders in our town, Wolmaransstad and our country, South Africa” says Botma. Our staff team enjoys visiting the crèche from time to time—as was done earlier this year—for a Valentine’s Day event. We also enjoy inviting the children to the farm, to give the young children opportunity to experience farm-life and what it means to ‘work the land’ for the good of our people and our country.

Adrian Baillie-Stewart
Article written by Adrian Baillie-Stewart

On a part-time basis, Adrian serves as lead digital communications consultant for the Firth Group of farms. This includes Hillcrest Game Estates, Firth Red Brangus, Firth Wagyu, Maquassi Spruit Pecan Nuts and Highlands Cycads. A communications specialist at Content Strategics (Pty) Ltd., Adrian helps small to medium enterprises achieve their primary operational goals by maximising the commercial impact of their media content published across multiple online digital platforms.