Pencil donations to write about

2016-11-24 06:02
Teachers, students from the USA, and learners during the handover of pencils at Imbasa Primary School, in Crossroads, on Monday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni mASEKO

Teachers, students from the USA, and learners during the handover of pencils at Imbasa Primary School, in Crossroads, on Monday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni mASEKO

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Students from Marquette University in the US visited Imbasa Primary School in Crossroads to hand over pencils to the entire learning force.

The students are among a group of about 20 who are in the country as part of their Service Learning Programme.

The SLP is a voluntary programme which they run with local organisations and schools, which was started in 2005.

They spend two days a week at each chosen organisation and the other three days doing academic related work affiliated to the University of the Western Cape (UWC). These students come to the country twice a year.

The first group comes in January and leave in June and the second group arrives in July and fly back to USA in November.

Each group is required to do advocacy projects, where they identify social issues and research how they could actually address those issues based on what they were doing at the various organisations and the course that they are taking, which is Leaders in Grassroots Organisations through UWC.

Maredithe Meyer, 21, one of the students, said they had to identify a problem in the school and come up with a solution.

That is how they then came up with a project called Pencil Pouches for Primaries.

“We noticed that there was lack of resources-pencils in particular-and we decided to do fund-raising for the project.

We are trying to make economic success in classrooms by providing a simple tool and to eliminate conflict between learners when they loose their pencils.

I feel good about the work. I am also looking forward on how the learners grow in future and to their educational success,” Meyer said.

Meyer said they had raised over R26 000 through mobilising their friends on social media.

She also said they are hoping to make the project sustainable by bringing private companies on board.

They also donated pencil sharpeners for each class of learners.

Melikhaya Ntshingwa, the programme director at Marquette University Service Learning Programme, said the programme is surely making a positive impact on the lives of learners.

“This programme is great. It shows that we can have a good impact in communities if we all are willing to start doing something positive,” Ntshingwa said.

Asanda Mabece, 13, a learner at the school, applauded the programme.

“I am very happy, because some of us do not have pencils at times and we lose them so the pencil cases will reduce the chances of losing them,” Mabece said.

Mamazana Ngqele, a teacher at the school, said the programme is doing a good work for the learners.

“I really appreciate the support we get from the students. They offload some of our work and they relate very well with our learners. Our learners are able to share things with them that they are afraid to share with us. They bring difference in the community. Learners spend too much time borrowing pencils, so this is going to help them a lot to save time. We are happy.”

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