News24 readers lend a helping hand to shack dwellers

2015-11-16 21:55
(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - Shack dwellers at Msawawa informal settlement near Kya Sands were still rebuilding as the thunderstorms and hail poured on Monday evening.

Many shacks have already been rebuilt but some shack dwellers were still looking for materials. Some shack dwellers will be forced to sleep in tents for the fifth day since the fire.

The fire left more than 100 shacks destroyed. Many school children lost their school uniforms and textbooks during the blaze.

News24 was inundated with messages of support for school children who were affected by the fire. News24 readers pledged to donate text books and clothing after reading about Grade 11 learner Shelly Mauku.

Mauku was among the school children News24 interviewed hours after the fire. Mauku told News24 she would have to quit school after losing her school uniform.

“I don’t know how we can afford a new uniform at home. We have to start over. The last thing my family can think of now is my uniform. I will have to work next year. I have no choice because they will not allow me [to go to school] if I do not wear a uniform,” she said at the time.

News24 reader Faizal Aboo, who owns a small manufacturing business in Johannesburg, said he could help sponsor one of the school children at the informal settlement.

“I see the scourge caused by poverty and it pains me when a young child says they can’t go to school because of their uniform or textbooks. [While] it is naturally an extremely busy period of the year and I cannot pretend that I’ll be able to service all the kids’ requirements, I’ve noted with sadness through your reports that a child might not be able to complete school next year as she cannot afford the uniform,” he said.

Aboo said he had contacted a number of his friends to also help some of the school pupils.

Another reader Jabulani Miya said he wanted to help in any way he could.

“It’s not fair that children can be forced out of school because of textbooks,” Miya told News24. 

Saadiq Natha from the Gift of the Givers Foundation said those wanting to help can get in touch with their offices to donate clothes. Natha said they had already had an overwhelming response from the public. He said they had distributed more than 2 000 clothing packets - some of those included school shirts.

“Some of the school children have received donations of school clothes, but we do have a few that can be helped. People can get in touch with us to donate in any way they can,” said Natha.

For more information contact Gift of the Givers Foundation on 011 832 1546.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  johannesburg  |  weather

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