A group of 13 third year medical students from the University of the Free State (UFS) were assigned to Beyang Bana Pele Crèche in Bloemfontein as part of their community service project.
The crèche was founded in 1996 and it is currently under the leadership of Sarah Mothoana. The crèche has 60 children which are divided in different age groups. It is one of the NGOs that the UFS’s Faculty of Health Sciences works with annually.
The students told Bloemfontein Courant they started working at Beyang Bana Pele in December 2020. “It was during the second semester of the academic year when we started communicating with the owner of the crèche, approaching sponsors and different disciplines in health science that could be of benefit to the crèche.
The project needed them to perform a needs assessment, which involved determining the main expressed health needs of the creche and their normative needs, which are needs that were not expressed. Some of the expressed needs included sanitisers, blankets, potty training toilets, and first aid supplies. The normative needs the group identified were food plates and bowls, Covid-19 education for children, as well as more vegetables.
The group indicated that they wanted to focus on health education more than anything else. To start the process, they produced a video that educated the children on the importance of taking good care of their teeth, and they used colouring books to educate the children on first aid. They also got a social worker to give the teachers information on how to communicate with the children. An information technologist assisted the crèche with their technical needs.
According to the group they have noticed the kind of pressure Covid-19 has put on NGOs and wanted to assist where they can. “Covid-19 has put pressure on NGOs to adapt to the new living standards, and this put greater financial strain and stress on NGO’s. Therefore we would greatly appreciate any assistance with our project, be it in kind or cash.”
The students also acknowledged and thanked the people who assisted them in the community project so far. They also commended Mothoana and the staff at Beyang Bana Pele for the brilliant work they are doing.