Providing Building Blocks for Early Learning

Renowned author of over 60 children’s books, Dr Seuss, has inspired a love of reading in millions of children over the past eighty years. While his stories have been translated into more than 20 languages, first words and early reading books are not readily available in the XiTsonga language of the communities around the Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park. Recognising this gap, Singita’s community partnership team decided to create such a local-language book for the 2,500 young children who benefit from its Holistic Early Childhood Development (ECD) Support Programme.

Supporting ECD is a fundamental element of Singita’s community partnership work and aims to assist the physical, cognitive, psychological and social growth of rural children. The programme provides training and development opportunities to centre managers, teachers and parents, and the ECD Resource Drive (funded with the kind support of Singita’s guests) equips the classrooms with resources essential for the children’s development. These include books, educational toys, creative arts materials, and outdoor and indoor equipment.

Working with ECD Specialists from Impact Consulting, illustrator Daley Muller and publisher Shweet Products, Singita used a professional translation company and the Department of Education xiTsonga curriculum specialist to produce a book that would engage bright, young minds, with illustrations that reflect the children’s daily lives.

The production of the book – titled Langutisa Kutani u Dyondza, meaning “Look and Learn” – was made possible by the generous donations of Singita guests; donations are channeled directly through Singita’s non-profit conservation partner in South Africa, the Singita Lowveld Trust.