The concern regarding the socio- economic state of Uitenhage has led to a local organising committee of one of the churches in inviting Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas to town.The Parish of St Simon of Cyrene Anglican Church is situated in the heart of a poverty stricken area in Gambleville, Uitenhage, where drugs, alcohol abuse, crime and lack of educational support are the order of the day.“We have to do something. There is a need in our area for an educational centre to take care of our children and their future,” said Reverend Elliot Maseka from St Simon of Cyrene.“Therefore it is imperative that we partner with the business community in achieving our goal.”Support needed for projectIn support of this major project to bring change in a poverty stricken community, a gala dinner has been organised by what is called the Local Organising Commitee (LOC). It will be held on February 24th at the Volkswagen PeoplePavilion in Uitenhage.The special guest speakers in attendance at the fund-raising will include honourable Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas (who was born in Uitenhage), the National Auditor General Kimi Makwetu, Premier of the Eastern Cape Pumalo Masualle and various other delegates. Proper education According to Lionel Barnes, former school principal of Gamble Street Secondary School and LOC convener, the planned educational centre at the church premises will accommodate Grade RR and Grade R classes. “If we want to have an impact on our community and bring change, we have to start now. The best way is through proper education and to have an influence from as early as possible in a child’s life,” said Barnes, who has been an educator for 40 years.According to him they wish to start with these classes by no later than June 2017.“The bigger picture includes the expansion of the centre to also accommodate skills projects in future in support of economic development,” said Barnes. Opportunity to ask questions For the educational centre to be fully equipped funds are needed and therefore the gala dinner will be held.Tickets are classified in platinum (R2 000 for top structures of industries), gold (R1 000 professionals and local businessmen) and silver (R300 general public). A question and answer session, with some of the high profile gala dinner delegates in attendance will held on the following day (Saturday, February 25th) at the same venue. For more information regarding the project or tickets contact Reverend Elliot Masoka at 079 492 7806 or Lionel Barnes 083 225 3618.