Where Imaginations come to Play
"Imagination ... is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
Imagination is the creative ability to form images, ideas, and sensations in the mind from input of the senses, such as seeing or hearing. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process. The ability to imagine one's self in another person's place is very important to social relations and understanding.
Imagination can also be expressed through stories such as fairy tales or fantasies. Children often use such narratives and pretend play in order to exercise their imaginations. When children develop fantasy they play at two levels: first, they use role playing to act out what they have developed with their imagination, and at the second level they play again with their make-believe situation by acting as if what they have developed is an actual reality.
According to research, in sociology, Imagination is used to part ways with reality and have an understanding of social interactions derived from a perspective outside of society itself. This leads to the development of theories through questions that wouldn't usually be asked. These experimental ideas can be safely conducted inside a virtual world and then, if the idea is probable and the function is true, the idea can be actualized in reality. Imagination is the key to new development of the mind and can be shared with others, progressing collectively.
The reality in South Africa – millions of children, during early childhood, are not playing with educational toys that will enhance stimulation and skills as these resources are unavailable to them. They are playing with beer bottle tops and litter, especially in the environments that we engage in. They are not learning about shapes and forms, perspective and dimension; building puzzles, playing with blocks, painting, drawing, colouring-in, playing with appropriate childhood toys and a plethora of fun toys that are mainstream for more privileged children who experience these on an ordinary day at a preschool, at a birthday party or at home. The children who we reach out to have never owned a toy, cuddled a teddy bear or played with a tea set or basic and advanced play equipment. Electronic and battery operated items are not available to them. These activities are not even in their awareness, where basic daily survival is at the forefront over education and stimulation. Most of the care givers and parents in these communities are waiting for their children to attend free government primary education, missing out on vital ECL. In many instances, gifts to the children will be taken away, sold, broken or stolen when they return home. That is our reasoning for creating experiences and memories that can never be taken away from the children. They can be safely stored in their precious little 'Memory Banks'.
The Magical Moments World of Wonder
A land of a million WOWs!
A unique space and place where there is an ideal combination of fun and learning, growth, sensory play and discovery, stimulation centres to develop vital tactical and coordination skills. An open plan indoor play area to develop fine and gross motor skills and an outdoor area with play equipment of the highest quality, with playgroup equipment and play areas with artificial surfacing.
We encourage children to play outdoors in natural light, where they can play with free abandon, in a beautiful and safe environment and freely express themselves - running, leaping, climbing, swinging and jumping and expressing themselves so freely without reprimand. Children, within our profile, sleep most of their years away; their muscle tone is weak, with research clearly demonstrating the connection to brain development and learning in later years.
This is a place we call Home. And home is where the heart is.
CSI/CSR and SED investment impacts a child's life profoundly and builds a sustainable future for Magical Moments and the tens of thousands of children who we impact through play, happy childhood memories and magical moments.
Our property is situated in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, with easy and convenient access from the M1 north/south highway, as the children are predominately transported by local taxis and buses. In most, if not all instances, most taxi drivers and day care centre child minders do not understand the concept of directions, landmarks and do not have access to GPS as they are unfamiliar with areas outside of their own daily taxi routes and environs. The location provides easy access to regular volunteers who fund their own petrol and travelling expenses.
Set in a tranquil and beautiful setting in a leafy, affluent suburb affects energy and is aspirational for the children, giving them exposure to what living conditions outside of squatter camps, townships and dumping sites look like. It provides them with a view of how life can be different. They live in areas that are devoid of nature, serenity and beauty and, to quote, "fresh air".
It has been proved in many studies that greenery and nature (grass, trees, flowers) has a direct impact on human development and the reduction of aggression, stimulating a child’s creativity and enhances their relationship building.
“First we shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us”.
Structure – The House
Upstairs are offices and the Head Office for Magical Moments, downstairs is the playground and Enrichment Centre for children who visit as a half day field trip or an outing. This will enable us to impact more children more often and we will no longer need to hire child appropriate venues that can accommodate the number of children that we host at each event (average 40-60 children per event) or having to compromise on our levels of engagement due to the constraints that these venues impose.
The view is to create a Social Entrepreneurial ventures, sustainable through various private and public partnerships, therefore not having to rely on donations and hand-outs.
One of the ways to contribute to Magical Moments being impactful is through the current BBBEE codes, which are becoming more focused on CSI contributions that empower the organisation to be more sustainable. The other initiatives that will ensure the sustained growth and development of Magical Moments will dovetail with CSI and CSR contributions. All beneficiaries are 100% black as defined on the BBBEE scorecard.
Structure – Play & Learning facilities
Inspiring and stimulating indoor and outdoor play spaces that are creative, imaginative, enhancing fine and gross motor skill development
- Library and reading corner
- Arts and crafts and creative play tables
- Music, dance, art, yoga classes
- Pretend play and imagination area
- Learning materials
- Toys and educational play equipment
- Play areas with safe all weather climbing apparatus
- Sandpits, swings, trampoline, vegetable, flower and sensory gardens
- Imagination Stations
We offer children within our profile the opportunity to experience the extra mural activities and holiday programmes afforded to their more privileged peers, who reside in these neighbourhoods, and who are given a vastly advantaged start in life.
The long term view is to offer ad hoc extra mural early childhood educational activities to underprivileged children living in the neighbourhood who are unable to attend day cares and schools as their parents or guardians work as domestic workers, gardeners and labourers. These children sit in dark, backrooms every day for 5-6 years until they are sent away to other provinces to live with family members and guardians so that they can attend school. Alternatively, these are the children living in the shacks in squatter camps or in dark rooms in violent and dangerous gangster areas in the inner city, not conducive for play and stimulation. The effects on the children are life-affecting and the cycle of poverty will continue unless there is awareness about the vital importance of early childhood and the dire need for an increase in affordable early childhood facilities within urban and suburban areas. The option of parks for recreation are not within reach for these children.
The House – Work, Live, Play
- Office space for the operational aspects of the organisation as a Head Office
- Live in facility for international and local volunteers who ‘Pay for the Privilege’
- PLAY rooms sponsored by a company with brand naming rights for these themed play stations which create brand awareness for future consumers, careers and job opportunities
- Corporate companies and private individuals hire the play venue for Christmas and year end functions for their staff and their children and costs for venue hire is reallocated to Magical Moments. Win Win for all.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution – 4IR
The Fourth Industrial Revolution or 4IR, is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, and impacting all disciplines, economies and industries. Klaus Schwab has compared it to the Second Machine Age in terms of the effects of digitization and AI on the economy, but added a broader role for advances biological technologies.
Central to this revolution are emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, quantum computing and nanotechnology.
The world is on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.
It is incomprehensible that millions of children who fall within our profile, the future workforce of South Africa, will not be exposed to this new world, and will, once again, get left behind.
Magical Moments is deeply passionate about ‘another lost generation’ who must be exposed to a FantasyLand, AdventureLand, PlayLand and learn to imagine a different world for themselves. A glimpse into a future of possibilities.
“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.”