Angelo Williams (12), a Grade 6 learner at Athwood Primary School in Hanover Park came top of his class with six certificates despite difficult circumstances in his community. Angelo is from the Flamingo Heights informal settlement but he did not let difficulties in Hanover Park, where drug and alcohol abuse and gangsterism is rife, deter him. Athwood Primary School aims to create a safe environment through education in Hanover Park. “Early childhood development (ECD) is our priority as we can change the way the child thinks, and shape them for the future,” says principal Evan Petersen.The school would like to offer ECD development for Grade 0 and Grade R classes, cultural activities, recycling, sport training to develop social skills and adding to their scheme at school. “We would also like to equip our learners with skills like computer classes to market them in the business world. Athwood Primary serves needy areas such as Hanover Park, Heatherdale Home, Leliebloem Home, St Francis Home, Marsh Memorial, Girl & Boys Town, Booth Memorial, St George’s Home, informal settlements around Ottery, Flamingo Crescent, Phillipi Browns Farm and children from Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Congo, etc. “Our school is a no-fee school, all our children receive a government subsidy, but that is the bare minimum. Feeding of these learners becomes our responsibility as the government feeds 200 children, but our shortfall is a further 200,” he says. The school is dependent on the goodwill of the community to assist with fundraising to keep the school going.“During the school holidays we need food parcels for our needy learners. The majority of our learners have no parents and are looked after by grandmothers or guardians. With the food parcels and contributions from the community we try to assist these learners,” Petersen says.His big dream is to build a hall for Athwood Primary, but funding is a problem.“We are currently using two classrooms as a small hall. We need the classroom space as we are growing substantially annually. We are appealing for funding to make this project a reality. It would bring a sense of hope for our very needy learners. Our school could also generate much needed funds for self sustainability by hosting concerts, assemblies and other fundraising events at the school. “We need assistance to achieve our goals and to uplift the community we serve,” he appeals.The school also need books, shelves, a fridge, microwave, used computers, used furniture items, mats, foodstuff, incentive gifts, or anything that they can use. Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for ward 60, is going to assist Angelo with all his stationery needs, text books and school uniform.V Contact the school on 021 692 1376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to assist.