Helping EC one pot at a time

2018-11-13 06:02
Grassy Park EC Primary School had a potjiekos competition on Saturday 3 November to raise funds to help repair parts of the school.

Grassy Park EC Primary School had a potjiekos competition on Saturday 3 November to raise funds to help repair parts of the school.

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The alumni group Help4EC, together with DayToDay, hosted a celebratory, energy-filled fundraiser in the form of a potjiekos competition at Grassy Park EC Primary School on Saturday 3 November.

Contestants competed to cook up the best pot, which was judged by Chef Gino Sedres, who is a chef at DayToDay.

DayToDay is a food box service where they deliver ready-made dinner kits to your doorstep for convenience, taking the effort and time out of regular shopping, as well as devising a meal plan for the week.

Sedres got in contact with Michelle Kerwel, a former learner at Grassy Park EC Primary, in a professional capacity and offered to help with the potjiekos competition initiative after visiting the school.

“A lot of our communities are in a neglected state. It just so happens to be that this school is on the property of the church and in that way they are not finding it easy to get the funding to upgrade the school. We did community events for months now; we supported them with a box for which a raffle was held,” says Sedres.

He explains that DayToDay will further support the school if residents sign up and use the school’s coupon code by donating R100 to the fund for every Foodbox purchased with the code.

“It is a really good cause where a lot of people can get involved. We try our best to be part of school initiatives, so we are part of a few other school initiatives and that is where everything comes about,” he says.

However, Kerwel says that although the event was well supported by donors, former learners, staff and sponsors, she laments the poor turnout by the parents of children who are at the school.

“The event was very poorly supported. This was after people commented on our Facebook page to ask to bring our fundraisers closer to home, because we had two successful fundraisers out at the Barnyard Theatre out in the northern suburbs,” says Kerwel.

The school has had two of its classes demolished and replaced with prefabricated classrooms, but it is the playground where Kerwel eyes room for improvement.

“If I were one of the children I would not want to play there because it is sand and gravel, there are hardly any trees and no shade.

“Our vision for that sports field is to have a multipurpose hall where kids can still play during break, but where the school can also get a little bit of income from renting out for events, so that they can also have the cash in hand to pay for governing body teachers or for the upkeep of the premises,” says Kerwel.

Head of department at the school, Dawood Wakefield, says despite the poor parent turnout, he applauds the Help4EC group for their initiative.

“I like the concept, because they had the potjiekos competition with the chef here as a judge as well as local vendors to sell their goods from the stands. I would ask our parents, because I feel our parents are disconnected to the school, I feel they should start connecting themselves.

“The alumni group are people who don’t have children here, because their children are at other schools, but they support this school and tried to help by sacrificing their time and money. Our current parents who have children here, they should support and help their school more than what the alumni group are already doing,” he says.

Wakefield, who also handles the school’s finances, says the school is suffering, with less than half of the school fees they’re supposed to get every year.

Kerwel echoes Wakefield’s sentiments.

“I would love for more parents to be involved, because most of the parents who are sending their kids there are also alumni of the school. We send them there because the school is so close to our hearts. I don’t know what is bringing about the sense of apathy.”

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