The years 2020 and 2021 will forever be noted in the history books of the world as the entire world was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic reared its head in Wuhan, China in December 2019, swept through Europe and by March 2020 the first Covid-19 case was identified in South Africa. The coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic caused major disruption to the lives of every South African.
By 30 June 2021, the country was battling the 3rd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The statistics provided by the COVID-19 South African Online Portal (sacoronavirus.co.za/2021/06/30/update-on-covid-19-30-june-2021/) are as follows:
- 13 062 835 tests completed
- 1 973 972 positive cases
- 1 748 042 recoveries
- 60 647 deaths
- 3 026 636 vaccinations
The period under review saw unprecedented times with national lockdowns ranging from level 5 to level 1, mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and sanitisation became the norm. Major disruptions occurred across the entire economy. Toy libraries had to close from March 2020 to September 2020. To re-open strict protocols had to be adhered to. Regrettably, many toy libraries struggled to re-open, and where toy libraries did re-open membership numbers, mostly comprising of ECD centres, dwindled dramatically.
However, despite the pandemic TLASA was able to continue serving our 20 members. TLASA had the opportunity to participate in the following advocacy campaigns:
- Participation in the Vangasali campaign aimed at creating a database of registered and unregistered ECD programmes
- The ECD Real Reform campaign lobbied to ensure substantial and meaningful changes are made to the Children’s Act. TLASA supported the campaign.
- Submission to parliament pleading that the Children’s Amendment Bill take note of toy libraries and that the legislation be amended to include norms and standards not only for ECD centres but also for non-centre based programmes such as toy libraries. TLASA was invited to present its position at the oral hearings held by parliament in June.
- We pivoted our operations to working online using Google Meet. This opened up opportunities to hold webinars and a virtual conference. We also revised the Constitution to ensure effective governance of TLASA.
TLASA is managed by a seven-member committee that met four times during the past year. I wish to thank every board member for their voluntary work to promote toy libraries and TLASA. A special word of appreciation to Vanessa Mentor for her role as treasurer. Vanessa’s enormous workload resulted in her resigning from the committee. The committee members for the period 2020 to 2021 is outlined below.
|Chairperson||Dr Monica Stach||Cotlands|
|Vice chairperson||Bertha Magoge||ACFS|
|Treasurer||Vanessa Mentor||Afrika Tikkun|
|Marketing & communications||Annika Savage||Hayward Occupational Therapy|
|Membership July 2020 – October 2020|
November 2020 – June 2021
|World Play Day Coordinator||Avrille Gork||Educational Toy Centre|
The work of the committee is guided by our six strategic goals. Our performance against these goals are outlined in Addendum 1 of the Annual Report.
In conclusion, I wish to announce that I am stepping down as Chairperson of TLASA. I have been caretaking, nurturing and strengthening TLASA since 2012. I am proud that it is a registered entity with a sound bank balance and adequate governance for it to be handed to the next generation of leaders in the toy library world. I commit to handing over and supporting the incoming chairperson. I will also remain in an oversight position as an ex-officio member. I wish the incoming committee everything of the best as they take TLASA to the next level.
I will forever remain a devoted advocate for TLASA and toy libraries.
Toy library greetings
Dr Monica Stach Chairperson
The Annual Report can be downloaded here.