A milestone worth celebrating

Cotlands turns 80 this year – and that is a milestone worth celebrating! It’s worth taking a glance back at 2015 to get a sense of where we’re headed in the future.

Last year, we phased out the last of our residential care facilities to focus on early childhood development. We partnered with the North West Department of Social Development in a pilot programme that will see vulnerable children from around the province access early childhood development (ECD) service. We are optimistic that this model will be expanded within the next three years.

We embarked on our Donate your Birthday campaign with Lesoba Difference. This was most successful and attracted birthday donations from eight to 70 year olds. Companies and radio stations also took up the challenge and we’re grateful to each one for their support. We plan to revisit the Donate your Birthday campaign – so please look out for it!

Looking ahead in 2016, we’re excited to partner with UNICEF and the Department of Basic Education to host our second Play Conference, a three-day conference which will encourage play-based learning, a non-centre based approach to early childhood education and toy libraries. Sadly, play is still seen as a luxury activity that has no bearing on a child’s future. Cotlands is taking a two pronged approach to address this: by promoting the importance of play; and increasing access to play equipment through our toy libraries.

We are pleased with our achievements but are constantly mindful that none of it would be possible without the steadfast support of our donors. Thank you – and I hope we can count on your continued support as we work towards our goals for 2016 and beyond.