The Hoekstra Foundation was established to ensure that all employees’ children have an opportunity to maximise their potential. As part of its social responsibility, the Foundation pays the school fees of the children of the Hoekstra Group’s employees, and has also established a daycare centre for babies and toddlers, a creche for pre-school children and a learning centre for school-going students.
PINOCCHIO CRECHE & DAYCARE
The Pinocchio Crèche was an initiative by Daleen van Staden, the wife of one of Hoekstra Fruit Farm’s managers, who recognised the need for a safe daycare centre for workers’ children while their parents are at work. The daycare centre on Westland has grown over the years and currently employs eight teachers and also provides meals for the children.
Pinocchio is managed by Elsa Adams, who has been involved with Pinocchio since 1992. She received her training at ELRU Grassroots and has also completed a course on early childhood development at Smart Start.
The other teachers are Salome Frans, Chante Simonse, Leahandra Frazer, Carisne Marang, Chandre Pieterse, Christine Appolis and Shannen Hendricks. Leahandra attended Pinocchio as a child and is now a qualified NQF Level 6 teacher.
Each year concludes with a Christmas concert where gifts are exchanged and all the children receive certificates for attendance. It is an important event in the Hoekstra calendar and attended by all Hoekstra Group’s employees and managers. The event is sponsored by Hoekstra Fruit Farms.
Hoekstra Fruit Farms also has a daycare centre on Slot farm. The daycare facility is for babies and toddlers between the ages of three months and two years and is staffed by Maria Olifant and Bettie Thompson.
HOEKSTRA LEARNING CENTER
The Hoekstra Learning Centre on the farm Estherdal was established in 2017 to consolidate all the Hoekstra farms’ learning centres under one roof. The centre has a classroom that can accommodate 20 students, a library and a playroom. The children are tutored by Trix du Toit, assisted by Chandre Pieterse.
The Hoekstra Group donated computers and a printer to help older students with their school projects. Amla Nel, the wife of Westland’s farm manager, turned the library into a creative space with a ‘library tree’ to encourage students to read. The library’s books and furnishing were either donated or sponsored.
The students are divided into different groups by farm for weekly sessions. They are picked up from school and brought to Estherdal for their classes. Daily activities start with lunch, homework and followed by additional tutoring in languages and maths according to the Department of Education’s curriculum.
Congratulations to Cameron Barron who completed her B.Ed degree at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Everyone at the Hoekstra Group is proud of your achievements.