Young man aims to beautify needy schools

2015-08-05 06:00

WHAT started as a discussion around the family dinner table, has now become a reality made possible by a young man from Parkside.

Zane Lagerdien (24), decided to start an initiative to aid schools in the Northern areas, after his aunt mentioned in passing that the school building she teaches at was deteriorating. Thus, the initiative ‘Beautify My School’ was set into motion and will see primary schools in the Northern suburbs getting a much needed facelift. Although the project is still in its ground phase, Lagerdien has big plans for a family fun day where everyone in the community can come together and lend a hand in beautifying Gelvandale Primary School.

According to Lagerdien, Gelvandale Primary was his first choice because it was the first primary school to be built in the area. Originally built as a temporary structure in 1954, the school is still standing, but does need a lot of TLC. According to the school’s caretaker, James, it has been an “uphill battle and headache” to maintain the school grounds and building.

“The plumbing especially is a problem, but we also experience problems with leakages and it makes the ceilings damp and we constantly have to replace the ceilings,” said the concerned caretaker. Also of concern are some of the facilities of the school as there aren’t many safety structures in place to prevent learners from slipping and falling. In fact, the caretaker believes the cement, which is very slippery when wet, is the reason for many scraped knees and elbows. With minimal assistance from the government, schools like Gelvandale Primary have to place maintenance last on their list of priorities, as it is so time consuming and pricey. However, with the assistance that the Beautify My School project will provide, some of the concerns will be addressed.

According to Lagerdien, he decided to aim this project at primary schools and offer up his time and assist by “painting the walls in different (bright) colours or making use of a professional to do a paint-by-numbers mural, which the children could colour in. These are small children, who are at school most of their day and we just want them to feel excited about coming to school and being involved at the same time.”

Lagerdien, who studied Marketing in the UK, has been hard at work to see this dream become a reality and has already secured a sponsor, in the form of Titanium Man- a start-up cosmetics company in Cape Town- to provide t-shirts for all those who contribute to the beautifying of Gelvandale Primary. Alumni of the school have also been called upon to ensure that the project is a success. To those who wish to be of assistance, contributions can be made in the form of hardware materials, money or even time.

For any further information about the Beautify My School initiative, visit their Facebook page: Beautify My School

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