KEY Foundation in partnership with Isuzu ChildLife Foundation officially opened a brand-new crèche building in Sweetwater, Pietermaritzburg this month.

Umkhuleko Crèche has 87 preschool children who will now receive quality early childhood development in their newly built school, consisting of two spacious classrooms, a storeroom, and bathroom facilities. The new building was indeed the answer to many prayers, as the name of the crèche in Zulu “umkhuleko” means “prayer”. The children had previously been cramped into two small dark rooms, with no adequate bathroom facilities.

It is the seventh super project that the Key Foundation has undertaken, with another five crèches and one school already built and forming part of the legacy that the foundation has created by facilitating long-term value for all its stakeholders in the KwaZulu-Natal region.

The Key Foundation was officially launched in 2006 to invest directly into the upliftment of various communities in which the Key Group operates in and impacts on. The Key Group has operations in Durban, Pinetown, New Germany and Pietermaritzburg. The Group operates three Isuzu dealerships, three Isuzu truck franchises and a truck hire and leasing operation.

Key Foundation Chair Dale Southern was made aware of the needs of the crèche by one of the foundation’s corporate social investment partners, iThemba Projects. iThemba Projects Director Stu Walker and Southern identified Umkhuleko Crèche as the most needy and desperate of all the early childhood development facilities being mentored by iThemba.

iThemba Projects focuses on improving access to quality early childhood development in Sweetwaters by mentoring teachers and parents. Through their partnership with the Key Foundation they have been able to extend their assistance to the local community of Sweetwaters with infrastructure development.

Key Group Chairman Paul Emanuel said Isuzu was invested in adding value to local communities by providing sustainable solutions through solid partnerships.

“This investment in the establishment of a crèche building shows long-term sustainability for the future. The children who will benefit from the crèche are given an early opportunity to develop their educational foundation in a safe and comfortable environment,” said Emanuel.

The local Nkosi (Chief) Zamathuli Melody Zondi provided suitable land for the building of Umkhuleko Crèche, which is now located close to a high school to assure easy access to water and electricity. Building operations commenced on October 1, through Elangeni Builders who used a unique process to allow for the completion of the building in just five weeks.

The Isuzu Key team and strategic partners celebrate the opening of the seventh super project in Kwa-Zulu Natal. From left are Stewart Walker, Craig Uren, Tony Dos Reis, Colin Cowie, Prince Xolani Zondi, Paul Emanuel, Hilary Smith, Michael Sacke, Mike Hall-Jones and Dale Southern.