Young and old clean up school

2019-05-09 06:01
Lwandle police officers got their hands dirty when they joined in the cleaning project at Umnqophiso Primary School.PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

Lwandle police officers got their hands dirty when they joined in the cleaning project at Umnqophiso Primary School.PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

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Police officers put their crime fighting duties on hold on Thursday 25 April to join young people in a clean-up operation of the grounds of the oldest primary school in Lwandle.

The project is the brainchild of former Umnqophiso Primary School learner Bulelani Ndabeni, who noticed the build-up of filth at the school grounds. The 25-year-old reached out to his friends to join him in clearing the premises of dirt, also asking officers of Lwandle Police Station to lend a helping hand.

“We like complaining by saying that the school is filthy, and is not taken care of,” said Ndabeni. “Passing by and seeing my school in that condition made me want to act. I sent out a call for help on social media and asked people from the community to come on board to assist. We received donations of gloves and plastic bags from sponsors, and did it in a bid to create a clean and healthy environment.”

According to Captain Babile Madala of Lwandle police, he and other officers joined the initiative, as the police are part of the community. “We want to show that police officers do not only deal with crime, but are also involved in community projects,” she related, and urged the rest of the community to approach the police to partner with them on other projects as well.

“We believe these projects unite the community. It’s also a great means to keep young people away from social ills such as substance abuse. We receive reports of troubled youths making the lives of their parents difficult, so if they get involved in such projects we would not be arresting them for crimes.”

Local ward councillor Jongidumo Maxheke, who was a teacher at the school before taking office, applauded the move from the community. “It makes me happy to see that most of the people assisting here were once learners at this school,” he said.

“This shows that the school belongs to the community. Such initiatives need to be supported by everyone, as it shows they love their community and country.”

Following the success of the initiative, Ndabeni decided his next move would be to clean every public space in the area. “There are people who have time on their hands, and we need to speak to them about getting involved to rid our area of litter,” he said.

“We will go to all the public places in the area and clean it. This will make our environment a better place for all.”

Felicia Ntshuntshe, of Umnqophiso Primary, said the school is grateful to be chosen for the pilot project of the initiative. “Children will now play in a clean and safe environment,” she explained. “Before this, the schoolyard was littered with plastic, but thanks to the initiative shown by the young man the children can have a clean playground. We need more people to come up with projects for betterment of communities, not expecting anything in return. Thanks, Ndabeni, for taking the lead; may you be blessed.”

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