For frequent viewers of Your Next Million, our weekly game show, the name TREE should ring a few bells. Going back two months, Training and Resources in Early Education was chosen as the first non-government organisation to receive the R50 000 NGO cheque from Standard Bank, helping further their ambition to create a better, stronger South Africa.
Based in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, TREE’s vision is to ensure young children develop to their full potential. To achieve this, the non-profit promotes and drives childhood development and care for children up to age four, and quality education and training programmes aimed at those responsible for their care (among many other important complementary actions).
When we first contacted the NGO after its initial win, its then Director, Bertha Magoge, explained that TREE gives young children a fair chance to, first, do well in school and, second, do well in life, ultimately contributing to a lively and prosperous economy. “Extremely elated”, Bertha shared how the Your Next Million prize will help TREE achieve its NEXT of offering more children better early childhood development (ECD) programmes: the cash injection will be used to create an ECD “centre of excellence” of one of the non-profit’s existing centres. Acting as a training ground for ECD practitioners and programme co-ordinators, it will be the “pinnacle example” of how children should receive cognitive and physical stimulation to ready them for pre- and primary school.
With their second Standard Bank donation, TREE is set to continue on the road to this NEXT. According to Teressa Ngobese, Acting Director, establishing centres of excellence ensures young children are in a safe, caring environment that is conducive to their growth and development.
“TREE will use this funding to continue our work in rural and undeserved communities with a mission to ensure that every child develops to their full potential in line with their rights and needs,” she says. “The cheque will go a long way in securing their NEXT; creating a foundation for their future!“We are grateful to be selected as one of the benefiting charities by Standard Bank. Many civil-society organisations across the country are engaged in activities that support development, and to be backed by a well-known financial institution really encourages our efforts. Your generosity, backed by your values, brand and ethos, is elevating deprived communities. Phambili, Standard Bank!”