Since READ was established in 1979, the organisation constantly fulfils its aim to help people in South Africa develop their skills in reading, writing, learning, information and communication. One of its most heart-warming successes has recently come to light. It concerns Julia Mphuti. When she lived in the Protea South informal settlement 21 years ago, Ms Mphuti recognised the need for someone to look after the children wandering about aimlessly, so this young woman took it upon herself to create a safe haven for them by opening Kid’s EduCare in her backyard. Over the years, Julia has given her time, her energy and her heart to her crèche, often funding its activities with her own money. She has never turned a child away if the parents cannot pay – and, no matter how hard times have been, has always provided all the children with two full meals and a snack, every day. In 2006 fate smiled on her. As part of a Lotteries-funded Early Childhood Development (ECD)project run by READ Educational Trust, Julia received training as a caregiver, which earned her an NQF Level 1 certificate, and she is currently studying for the ECD National Diploma (NQF 5), which she’ll receive in 2013. Undaunted, Julia Mphuti commutes between Ennerdale and Protea South every day. And despite her training, and all she has given over all these years, she does not qualify for a subsidy from the Department of Social Development – because her crèche is not housed in a permanent structure. Her fame has steadily grown and local primary schools can see the difference in learners from her crèche who enter Grade R. Parents from as far as Lenasia want to send their children to Julia’s humble shack-crèche! It is packed with opportunities for the children to develop – from the fantasy corner, to the book corner, to the play area with the swing and faux grass made from old carpets, all intended to develop the young minds in her care. “If we do not give children the foundation they need, we are killing their futures,” Julia says. “And I thank READ for helping me grow more opportunities.” Her contribution to the community cannot be measured in monetary value alone for it is so much more than that. It comes from her heart and defines the kind of person Julia Mphuti is. READ is proud to have been of help.