Giving back to learners

2018-04-10 06:02
From left: Mariam Haffajee, Zaakiya Hoosain and Ali Ahmed from Rondebosch East with the personalised stationery bags they made.

From left: Mariam Haffajee, Zaakiya Hoosain and Ali Ahmed from Rondebosch East with the personalised stationery bags they made.

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A group of more than 80 volunteers gathered over the space of four hours at Mupine Golf Club in Pinelands on Wednesday 28 March to help create personalised stationery bags and pack school backpacks for 500 children from rural schools.

The initiative was a partnership between Better SA and MySchool, which relies on the support of a group of customers that are passionate about raising funds for the causes they care about.

The volunteers included mothers and their children, businessmen and women, and retired customers from the local community­.

On the day the volunteers packed 500 school backpacks with stationery essentials for children from needy schools. They also personalised a handmade stationery bag for each of the learners in order to add a personal touch and a greater sense of pride in this special gift. These backpacks will reportedly be accompanied by a Tutudesk lap desk, “which essentially is an instant desk, since these learners are from schools where there is more than 60% desk shortages,” says Helene Brand, manager of MySchool.

She says that through the programme they managed to create an opportunity for those who have always wanted to give back to the community but did not have a platform to do so.

“So many people want to volunteer, but they do not know where or how and also cannot commit to volunteering for extended periods. This once-off event needed their hands-on participation and also gave them a change to add a personal touch to each backpack. Everyone was eager to volunteer again in future and we encourage those who want to volunteer again to join us on the MySchool and Better SA hop-on hop-off volunteer bus that will allow you to volunteer every week,” says Brand.

Sikokhele Ntsatha, one of the volunteers, says he decided to be part of the event because he values education and likes to take advantage of every opportunity he gets to contribute towards it. He says there are many children in disadvantaged communities who need all the help they can get. “Education is very important to me, and getting hands on by physically doing something with my hands to help someone is an opportunity I could not miss. I had firsthand experience with a lack of stationery at school so I know how hard it is, so I decided to be part of this so I could help. Thanks to MySchool for the opportunity.”


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