In the small town of Prince Albert, in the Karoo, South Africa, is a community centre which provides kids and young adults with comfort and opportunity. The centre is called the Prince Albert Community Trust, or PACT, and is led by Ingrid Wolfaardt and her team of Hope Warriors.
Chris Freund introduced us to this wonderful group after the rollout of our charity matching programme in 2020. At Ninety One, we have since contributed to the creation and expansion of PACT’s Early Childhood Development programme.
The Hope Warriors, themselves youngsters and inspired by Ingrid’s tenacity, work tirelessly to bring opportunity to a community with scarce resources. PACT partnered with the municipality, small businesses and, most importantly, residents more than a decade ago. Its success stands as a model for other small towns to follow.
PACT focuses on the all-round development of kids and runs practical programmes under the pillars of Health and Wellbeing, Education, and Skills Development.
Anolisha Paulsen, Early Childhood Development practitioner
“I remember the first time at the PACT center. Sho, I had no confidence and little self-belief: I never realised that I am capable of much more and because of this, I was missing out: always scared what people will say and to make a mistake. Even in this I have changed, you can choose how to deal with a mistake, it’s what you make of it. No use sitting in a hoekie and saying I will never do this again, rather say it aloud, and learn from it and do better. I have chosen the route of try and try again, and look at me now: I feel I’m in control of my life and an able to speak in front of people, which was one of my biggest fears.
So what is the reason for my change?. “PACT EN SY MENSE”. I never in my life thought I could have a say and shape the workplace I am in. Here I can teach people and change lives. Even though I am an early childhood development teacher, I would never been able to do what I do today in another workplace.
The opportunities I’m getting now is way more than just the classroom and standing in front of the class teaching the ABC: I can shape and impact on what is taught and how it is taught. Part of this is life does not end in Prince Albert and don’t use your circumstances as an excuse not to do anything. Also I teach children not to compare themselves but rather to be the best version of themselves, to respect others, and never to be scared to speak: to have a voice is important for us at PACT.
I remember, my biggest dream was to go overseas and work, but now it’s about changing a child’s life for better.”
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