Talhado Children’s Haven or Speel Kliniek” as the children call it, was started in 1998 by Child Welfare as a children’s clinic at the request of mothers living in Sea Vista. At the time, there was no doctor attending the government clinic in the area and mothers had to take their sick children to Humansdorp, if they needed the services of a doctor. Toys were provided for the children to play with while they waited for the doctor and this lead to the aftercare centre (or Spiel Kliniek’ as the children like to call it!) when it became apparent that many of the children did not have access to toys at home and many were left at home on their own after school while mothers worked. In 1999, Mr. Charles Coenraad, principle of Sea Vista Primary School (Afrikaans medium), approached the Haven and requested that they start a Pre-Primary School as children attending school in Grade 1 at that time did not have the skills necessary for starting ‘big school’.
At that stage, the Haven was only run by voluntary members of the community. They were reluctant to employ a teacher as they did not enjoy regular funding. This all changed when Lesley Moore was approached by Mr. Malcolm Stanley, then CEO of Talhado Fishing Enterprises, a chokka (calamari) fishing company with interests in St. Francis Bay. He said they were looking for a local charity in which to invest and support.
It was then possible to use the regular funding from Talhado to pay for a teacher and thus, the Talhado Pre-Primary School opened its doors in 2000 to its first 25 pupils and 1 teacher – Ms Roseline Goede. A new classroom was built in 2008 funded by WBHO and Mr and Mrs Gioertz of Norway.
In 2017, Cathryn Hempel evolved this program and officially established Talhado Montesorri School with two classrooms and certified teachers. Now, Talhado is the feeder school for Sea Vista Primary School, in St Francis Bay and Mzingizi Primary School in Humansdorp. In addition, some of our learners are now attending Stulting Primary school in Humansdorp, and a few have even earned bursaries for the exclusive private school, St Francis College.
Today, the school serves the community of Sea Vista and Zwelitsha (informal settlement) which are mainly Afrikaans or Xhosa speaking. The four pre-primary classes are taught in Afrikaans, Xhosa and English.