The Good

The Unlimited Child Wins Prestigious Khalifa International Award for Education

The Unlimited Child, the largest and leading Early Childhood Development (ECD) non-profit organisation in South Africa, has won the prestigious Khalifa International Award in The Early Learning Field for Best Programme, Curricula, and Teaching Practice. As a rapidly growing organisation throughout Africa and the Middle East, The Unlimited Child is one of only four outside of the United Arab Emirates and Arab Nations to receive this accolade for excellent work in early childhood education.

The Khalifa Award for Education, established in 2007 in the United Arab Emirates, aims to elevate educational standards both locally and internationally by recognising excellence across various educational fields. Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the award has become a global benchmark for educational excellence.

So, what sets The Unlimited Child apart on the global stage? According to CEO, Candice Potgieter, it's their proven, scalable model for effective early childhood education. She explains, "Our model transforms children at risk of not being school-ready to being school ready. Additionally, it unlocks the potential of their childminders, enabling them to become fully-fledged ECD practitioners and establish viable micro-enterprises.”

In fact, an independent study, paid for by a large consortium of ECD investors, hailed The Unlimited Child’s model as the most effective ECD programme in the country.

And the international community agrees.

Potgieter adds that whilst she and the team are honoured by this incredible award, there is still much to be done. “The harsh reality is that there are millions of children, not only in South Africa, but worldwide who lack access to quality early childhood education. If countries fail to act with urgency on this issue, the world will suffer the long-term consequences. Children who are not made school-ready will never be life-ready either. And, no teacher can ever change that.”

To date, The Unlimited Child’s ECD programme has trained and mentored over 10,000 ECD practitioners and equipped over 5,000 ECD centres with age-appropriate educational resources and programming. “While we have already reached over 2 million children in impoverished communities across South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and through humanitarian aid efforts in Yemen, for us, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Our goal is to ensure that every single child has the opportunity to reach their full potential and the Khalifa International Award for Education is just confirmation that we’re headed in the right direction,” Potgieter concludes.

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