Christmas comes early for learners at Khula Sizwe

Khula Sizwe Primary School children received Christmas food parcels from EOH last Wednesday. The children entertained all those present at the special event.

Christmas came early for students at Khula Sizwe Primary School last Wednesday.

Over 1 000 food hampers and toys were donated to the children and their families by EOH for Christmas.

“We started with this initiative last year where we managed to donate 150 parcels,” said Cindy Cenenda-Masango, the school’s foundation phase HOD.

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“We work with children from disadvantaged areas, so we as a school thought of doing Christmas hampers for the children to ensure they get nutritious meals during the holidays.

“The 150 we managed to gather last year was not enough which is why we decided to look for sponsorship to help us cater for all.”

Members from Progress Educational Counsellors Organisation (PECO) were there to raise awareness for HIV/Aids. The members included, front: Mapula Moreba and Dineo Ramaotsoa. Middle: Kgomotso Tshabalala, Cynthia Sethoba and Dimakatso Kgole. Back: Akani Baloyi, Tsholofelo Makibelo and Andria Nkuna.

The sponsorship from EOH came about when the school’s principal Louisa Lekalakala met with EOH’s field operations head, Paul Serfontein.

“Serfontein and I met in 2016 at the Partners for Possibilities (PFP) Programme where principals and business partners from different environments and experiences exchange leadership skills,” said Lekalakala.

“It was a one year programme but Serfontein and I took the partnership beyond the programme and through the visits at the school he saw some of the challenges.”

Some of the groceries donated by EOH get delivered at the school.

Serfontein said when visiting the school last year, he was intrigued by a former learner of the school, Nkululeko Lutuka, who offloaded a bakkie full of groceries.

“Lutuka brought groceries on the same day that the school was presenting the 150 parcels organised by the school’s Bonelela Committee last year,” said Serfontein.

“I enquired more about the event from Cenenda-Masango, who is also the committee’s programme manager, who explained the needs of the school.

Representatives of EOH and Purpleblue were thrilled to attend the event aimed at putting smiles on children’s faces.

“I approached my company to see if we could assist and they supported the initiative fully.

“We went on a seven-week drive collection in preparation of the event to see if we can’t donate within the company and we also reached out to our partners and suppliers to see if we can’t help all the children at the school.

“People jumped in and started donating and it was amazing.”

An itinerary list of the essential needs was drafted during the meetings held with the Student Governing Body (SGB).

Serfontein also told TEMBISAN that they hope this will be a long-term partnership.

“We will stick this through for years and years as we are looking at other initiatives like EOH connecting a Wi-Fi for the computer lab which might also help the community, among other things.

EOH’s Tebogo Sehume hands over a gift hamper to Lindokuhle Jobodwana (13).

“We appeal to other corporates to get involved in initiatives like these and make a difference.”

Lekalakala was humbled by the event.

“I am very happy and grateful for all that is happening today and I realised that it takes a village to raise a child,” she said.

“One of the pushing factors for these parcels is that the only meal that some of these learners get on a daily basis is from the school’s soup kitchen.

“We get worried about the children and ask ourselves what they will be eating during the holidays, but this year we will be at ease knowing that they will be catered for until schools re-open.

“Lutuka helped us a lot last year and we appreciate his efforts because the 150 parcels from last year were from our own pockets as the teachers.

The school’s principal, Louisa Lekalakala, takes time for a photo with former school learner Nkululeko Lutuka.

“We have 1 134 learners in our school and we wanted each child to leave with something and that has been made possible by EOH and their partners, Purple Blue.”

Lekalakala said the school has also packaged their own parcels to give to the children.

Lutuka was also present at the event and said: “I had come to visit the school when Cenenda-Masango told me about what they are doing through the Bonelela programme and asked if I could assist and it was something that I was interested in and that is how I contributed last year.”

“This time I am hoping to donate in January – maybe donate school uniforms. This year’s event is bigger and I am happy for the children.”

The students prepared and performed entertainment items that were well appreciated by the parents and community members who were also present at the event.

Members from Progress Educational Counsellors Organisation (PECO) were available for those who wanted to test for HIV/AIDS to raise awareness.

  AUTHOR
Puleng Sekabate

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