Engen fuel supports Velddrif young learners
AJF Handing over educare boxes and food Ingredients to Principal, Matilda of Pelikaan Bewaarskool ECD in Veldrift

Engen’s R15 000 worth of fuel donation to the Anwar Jakoet Foundation (AJF), a non-profit company focusing on education in the early childhood development (ECD) space enabled the organisation to visit three early Educare Centres in the Velddrif area in August.

Striving to reach young learners that have fallen through the cracks, Engen’s fuel donation powers the AJF’s delivery vehicles, staff and volunteers to reach impoverished communities, often in remote rural areas.

“We are grateful for Engen’s fuel sponsorship which made it possible for the AJF to reach three Velddrif Educare Centres where resources are seriously lacking,” says AJF founder, Anwar Jakoet.

“We visited Pelikaan Bewaarskool ECD, Lutando Daycare Centre and White Dove Educate where we assisted with Educare Boxes containing stationery, puzzles, reading books, sports Items, beanies and bulk Food items for the young learners and food parcels for the educators.”

Founded two years ago by Anwar Jakoet in response to Covid-19 and the devastation caused in the poorest communities, the AJF has since evolved and grown from supporting organisations in the Western Cape to a national footprint.

“In November last year we were supporting 23 ECD schools and just six months later, thanks to the support we have received, we are now able to assist 50 ECD schools,” says AJF founder, Anwar Jakoet.

“Our biggest expense up until now has been fuel, as we travel the length and breadth of the Western Cape to reach forgotten about dorpies. This sponsorship will primarily be used to support the numerous projects we have on the go.

He adds: “We can also now divest the funds we usually spend on fuel and use this to purchase ECD equipment such as Educare starter boxes, which include breakfast food items, toys, sports equipment, puzzles and so on.”

Jakoet, an ex-teacher with an entrepreneurial mindset explains that hungry children can’t learn.

“The ECD phase has been neglected big time in SA which is extremely concerning as these foundation years have a long-term impact on a child’s future.

“We engage with the MPL for Education in the Western Cape Legislature and advise him on ECD development matters, which we encounter on our various visits to ECDs in informal settlements, rural areas and the most impoverished areas and have implemented the GROW EDUCARE programme, which assists ECDs on how best to run their business.

“Wherever we go we create partnerships and focus on building relationships. Engen was the first corporate company to come on board and we have since built partnerships with bulk food suppliers, sports companies and over 150 NPO’s across the country, and support old age homes, soup kitchens and orphanages.”

The AJF are actively involved in the outreach programmes they support and personally visit impoverished areas. 

Adds Jakoet: “Our approach is holistic; we are all about the human touch.  We don’t just hand out food hampers or donate money. That’s simply not enough. We focus on sustainable projects and rather promote the planting of vegetable gardens and provide food boxes to grow herbs for cooking.

“We do several outreach visits aimed at providing hope and a bit of fun.  We take sport and life coaches, motivational speakers, DJ’s, MCs, and sound and sports equipment which we leave behind.  We train teachers so that they can continue to support learners.”

Jakoet says they are ready to take the AJF to the next level.

“We are holding a golf day in November and invite all interested companies to get involved and make a difference,” he says. 

“The greatest reward for the AJF Team are the warm smiles of the learners and the hugs we receive from "the little people". 

Engen’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Dr James Nyawera says: “We are proud to support the AJF and admire the work they are doing in the space as well as their humanitarian efforts.  We hope that our contribution makes a small difference.”