Girl helps others feel comfortable

2017-09-05 06:00
Liyema Mhaka with some of the girls of her former school, Imperial Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain.

Liyema Mhaka with some of the girls of her former school, Imperial Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain.

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Touched by the spirit of Nelson Mandela’s dedication to human rights, Liyema Mhaka was moved when she noticed that some of the girls at her former school arrived without underwear.

Liyema was a prefect at Imperial Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain last year and during recess she would pick up that some of her schoolmates stood on the sidelines and did not take part in the games other children played.

“I asked them why they were not joining in. I was shocked at their response. I discovered that because they were wearing panties with holes in them, they were not comfortable to play with others,” she says.

Liyema says she had also noticed that some wore the same panty the whole week. From that moment on she vowed to make a difference in the lives of these children.

Now a Grade 8 learner at ­Groote Schuur High School, she has been true to her promise.

“I started raising funds with the aim of buying these girls panties and handing them over on Madiba Day as part of my contribution to the 67 minutes campaign,” she says.

She shared this vision with her mother, Nokuthula, who also supported her daughter.

“She came home depressed about this. I told her she would need to raise funds and save some of her pocket money for this project,” says Nokuthula.

Liyema asked permission at her new school to allow her to sell sweets during intervals and she raised a whopping R1200 and was able to buy 67 panties for the schoolgirls.

“Now they will each have five panties for the week and will feel comfortable and be hygienic,” says Liyema.

Deputy principal Alfonso Smith says they are sincerely grateful.

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