Women who are building our future
Our children are the future of our country and it is of the utmost importance to mould and equip them with a good educational foundation.
Our children are the future of our country and it is of the utmost importance to mould and equip them with a good educational foundation. The work led by Candice Potgieter, CEO of The Unlimited Child (TUC), has brought about unlimited value to the lives of thousands of families and children across South Africa, in underprivileged communities.
“After many conversations and asking the right questions, it soon became clear that a lack of pre-school education was causing our high school students to be unprepared and well behind the learning curve. So instead of covering up the problem, we chose to solve it,” says Candice.
The Unlimited Child started with a dream to shift South Africa – it was founded by The Unlimited 12 years ago – with the organisation still being the primary funder to the foundation today. Candice along with her team are committed to ensuring that ALL children receive the right to a solid educational foundation. The Unlimited Child has impacted the lives of over 850 656 children across South Africa. A dream to shift the lives of South Africans with a model that is easily scalable and adaptable, has proven to be the first and only rapid impact model for Early Childhood Development in South Africa. As is stands, they are looking to have 5 000 creches by 2021.
Not only has Candice spearheaded the growth of The Unlimited Child over the past four years, she’s also enabled and empowered other female entrepreneurs to change the status quo and transform communities. Various ECD centres are led by strong women with a vision to nurture and develop the fabric of this society – our children.
Ayanda Bhengu, Quality Assurance Officer for The Unlimited Child, has proven that passion and hard work can change lives. Ayanda thrived through adversity from living in Hammarsdale community and assisting her mother (who owns a creche) as a practitioner. It took representing her mother in an Early Childhood Development initiative meeting with The Unlimited Child for her to realise her passion to transform children’s lives and become part of The Unlimited Child’s Family.
She’s now an empowered young woman, who advocates for women taking the lead in the various disciplines they occupy. Ayanda emphasises the importance of relentlessly going after whatever you want to achieve!
“For the longest time, women were conditioned to think that they belong at the backseat of every operation. The Unlimited Child afforded me the opportunity to take centre stage – to be the voice within my community and emphasise the importance of nurturing children’s needs,” says Ayanda. “Little did they know they had planted a seed of boldness, and being an opportunity-seeker – this now governs how I live my life.”
“Ayanda has made an impact on many lives over the years she has been part of our family. She has aligned her every day objectives to meet her ultimate goal – changing the lives of our children,” says Candice.
“My ultimate goal is to see every child go through The Unlimited Child ECD programme, which has proven to work. It does not only foster the development and education for these children at an early age, but it also equips the facilitators with the correct tools and training required to do so. This is a fundamental preparatory step to ensure these children transition into foundation-phase education,” continues Ayanda.
‘A candle loses nothing by lighting another’ – James Keller. “This is a motto I live by and I encourage more women to live by this philosophy. Let’s build a community of strong women and encourage one another by truly embracing the meaning of women empowerment,” says Ayanda.