Newsletter March 2022

Spreading the Love of Books

Love of books

We set off to deliver the recently arrived BookDash books to the Khanyisela ECD Centres on what turned out to be a wet and rather muddy Wednesday, 15 February. The car was loaded with around 1500 little books in both English and isiZulu for the little ones to enjoy. We received some old favourites like ‘A Beautiful Day’ and ‘My Little Garden’ but were lucky enough to share a few new stories with the children of the amaZizi community.

Bookdash is a South African social impact publisher whose mission is to increase book ownership of disadvantaged children from an early age, positively influencing their future reading abilities. The children of the Khanyisela Project are over the moon to benefit from this extraordinary cause.
Each book was greeted with a happy and excited little face, ready to explore the story at home with their families. The children are eager to ‘read’ the stories themselves!


Meet our Mentors

The Khanyisela Project is fortunate to have in our midst wonderful professionals who want to share their knowledge about pre-primary education with their fellow teachers. In 2022 we have three teacher mentors who visit all 18 ECD centre supported by KP on a regular basis to observe and share ideas. They consist of Sibonelelo Dlamini, Fikile Nene and Mantombi Khoza.

Sibonelelo Dlamini

Sibonelelo Dlamini

I have been married to Elias Hlatswayo for more than 20 years. We have three boys, Lungani 30 years old who is living in Durban, Okuhle aged 12 and Ayabonga aged 8 attend Masumpa Primary School.

What is your favourite flower? Any colour roses

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a Nurse, I just love to look after people. I was working as a carer in an old age home in Durban for a while. I didn’t have money to carry on with my studies.

How did you get to Royal Drakensberg Primary School?
I was working at Emseni as a cook. I completed my ECD level 4 at UCO. I met Daphne through Khanyisela and got involved in BabyBoost. I was busy with BabyBoost for about one year and then the intern position at Royal Drakensberg School Primary became available. Ma’am Melanie had a big class and needed some assistance. I am now busy completing my B.Ed Foundation Phase from Saint College based in Pretoria.

What makes a ‘good day’ at school?
Just to be in the class with the children.

If you meet anyone, who would it be?
I’d like to meet our young King Misuzulu.

If you could pass on any wisdom to your mentees, what would you share?
They must always to do a morning ring and engage with the children often throughout the day.

Reading Group at Samkelokuhle ECD centre.

After the immensely successful reading group that was started at Siqalakahle during Term 4 of 2021, the teachers from Samukleokuhle ECD centre volunteered their school to be first venue for 2022. The teachers from Royal Drakensberg Primary School were excited to start reading again on Wednesday afternoons.

Our first visit was 16 February. Miss Sine and Ma’am Heste arrived exactly as a summer storm hit and had to walk the last 50metre, as the road was quite treacherous. We were not the only ones who braved the rain, 20 children aged between 5 and 10 years old arrived.

Miss Sine’s book “Thando Rocker” got the children excited and as the children became more relaxed and conversation about the story flowed.

Our English book “Chameleon’s Clever Trick” had the children teaching Ma’am Heste some of the isiZulu words for the colours and creatures from the story.

Singing is a wonderful way to engage with a language and we finished off our session singing both English and isiZulu songs. Every Wednesday afternoon until the end of March, teachers from RDPS will visit Samukelokuhle in pairs or threes to share stories, experiences and songs with the children of the local community.


An integral part of the Royal Drakensberg Trust Projects is Baby Boost. Its mission is to extend the mothers’ and caregivers’ understanding of raising infants and toddlers through workshops, play groups and home visits.

In the new year the Baby Boost team have started two new sessions, one at Siqalakahle ECD Centre and another hugely popular session at Sibusisiwe ECD centre. The Sibusisiwe session has been split into two groups to best present the information.

On Tuesday afternoons Sibonelelo Dlamini leaves from RDPS at 2pm with toys and books to demonstrate how to best interact with very young children in order to stimulate vital neurological development.

The joy seen on both carers and the children reminds of the impact that this programme is having in our community.

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