Local school benefits from Ithala

2017-06-07 06:02
Teacher Sphumele Biyela (extreme right) with parents from Prospect Farm School graciously receiving uniforms for their children. Photo: supplied

Teacher Sphumele Biyela (extreme right) with parents from Prospect Farm School graciously receiving uniforms for their children. Photo: supplied

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THE spirit of ubuntu came alive when members of Ithala Development Finance Corporation’s Corporate Social Investment team visited rural schools in KwaDukuza, Isithebe and Mandeni in the iLembe District as well as several other KZN schools, to deliver school uniforms.
More than 550 pupils at these schools benefited through the project last year.

“Abantwana Bethu” or “Our children” is a campaign by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial development agency to promote a positive learning environment for pupils in remote regions of the province, either through financial support or the sponsorship of essential school supplies.

“The past month has been a most gratifying experience to be able to fulfill a real need in the community. The expressions on the faces of the children who come from impoverished backgrounds were a highlight for the team,” said Sitandiwe Dimba, Ithala’s corporate social investment co-ordinator.

“Our objective is to create an enabling environment for pupils, thereby affording them the opportunity to focus primarily on their education.”

KwaDukuza’s Prospect Farm School teacher Sphumele Biyela said: “Thank you for your donation of 150 school uniforms to needy pupils at our school. With this donation, you have not only helped our pupils but our community as a whole.”

Prospect Farm School is located on a farm and in a financially distressed community where unemployment is rife.
The school accommodates 600 pupils with up to 70 children being taught in a single classroom. 

“Parents live off social grants and child-headed families are common. This donation has come at an opportune time and to the most deserving recipients,” said Biyela.
She added that many children arrived at school on an empty stomach.
A meal is served to them at 10:30am courtesy of a school nutrition feeding scheme and there is no guarantee the children will have supper when they get home. 

The school relies solely on donations to improve their facilities and was fortunate to have been selected as a recipient for a computer room.
Despite the challenges, pupils have not been found wanting and have continued to deliver impressive academic results.

“Our only assembly point is a sandy ground which turns muddy when it rains. We are hopeful a sponsor will help to pave this area for us,” said Sandile Richard Mpanza, chairman of the school governing body.

The Abantwana Bethu campaign is also extended to Mandela Day and Women’s Month drives which include food parcel deliveries to schools to supplement nutritional feeding schemes, back-to-school uniforms and stationery and sanitary toiletries to enhance the dignity of female pupils.

Complementing this campaign is the Starsaver project, a partnership with the Banking Association of SA, where pupils at township and rural high schools are targeted with financial literacy lessons to promote the value of accumulating personal wealth and the need to save. 

Ithala promotes and supports development programmes that enable socio-economic growth through its diverse and tailor-made business finance and properties portfolio.

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