Bridgestone South Africa

With Bridgestone's Help, Pre-School Dream Comes True

Dec 08, 2014

Bridgestone South Africa is proud to announce that land which it helped fund now plays home to a brand-new building for the Hope Educare Early Childhood Development Centre, in Diepsloot. The building was handed over to Hope Educare at a function on the premises last week.

"This is a project which has been more than two years in the making," said Bridgestone PR Manager, Desirée van Niekerk. "The new building will house between 160 and 200 pre-school children in Diepsloot and provide a safe and enjoyable environment for them to get their school careers on track," she added.

The driving force behind the project is Patti Hanley, a firm believer in the value of pre-school education. Hanley's involvement with pre-schools started with Riversands Pre-school which she founded in 1993 as an outreach programme with just 11 children. Since then, over 1500 children have graduated from the school and Hanley has extended her involvement to more than a dozen pre-schools, promoting basic education among previously disadvantaged communities.

Hanley commented that private pre-schools are essential parts of the community. "In the entire Diepsloot area there is only one government pre-school for thousands and thousands of children," she explained. "Currently we have over 1600 children in our privately run Diepsloot preschools alone," she added.

She said that many more private pre-schools are needed to help the government achieve its vision of at least two years of pre-school attendance before children move to primary school. "This is simply not possible without the involvement of the community and our sponsors such as Bridgestone."

Bridgestone's van Niekerk said that the demands of running a pre-school were matched only by the supplies needed. "Modern pre-schooling isn't like the informal playschools the older generation will remember. Teachers need workbooks, manuals, and classroom graphics, while the children themselves need stationery, paint and toys," she commented. "Not to mention the important things like first-aid kits, blankets, and warm clothing for underprivileged children. We call on everyone who can assist with donations or sponsorship to contact Patti to offer their help," she concluded.

Editorial notes

Patti Hanley can be contacted by phone at 082 557 9915 or by e-mail at

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Bridgestone South Africa

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