Donation drives to assist the needy as they prepare to return to school - from vouchers for uniforms and stationery, the delivery of donated material as well second-hand supplies.
CAPE TOWN - Organisations and ordinary citizens have been busy donating school supplies to the some of the province’s needy pupils.
The exorbitant price of school uniforms and stationery means poor families struggle to buy stationery and school uniforms for their children, let alone afford school fees.
Social media has been abuzz with donation drives to assist the needy with anything from vouchers for uniforms and stationery, the delivery of donated materials and second-hand supplies.
Organisation the Hope Cape Town runs a community outreach centre in Blikkiesdorp, near Delft.
The organisation handed out school supplies to children in the area this week.
The centre established a playgroup in 2015 to ensure that children from the ages of 4 to 6 receive basic skills to be prepare them for primary school. At the end of the programme, they receive school supplies.
“At this stage each child gets a full stationery pack and then clothing wise, they get the full kit. The parents do not need to go and buy anything. We give shoes, socks, two pants, four shirts, a bag, and a jersey,” said Maria van Blerk, founder of the organisation.
“Fourteen children every year get these school materials since Covid-19 started. Before Covid-19 it was 20 to 24 children.”
Spokesperson for the organisation Shelly Stamatiadis said they noticed that some children did not go to school because their parents could not afford to buy the uniforms and stationery.
“The schools do not allow children to come to school without uniforms and stationery. So we facilitate in those ways, we assist children with full school uniforms and the stationery,” said Stamatiadis.
Hester Van Rooyen, 55, said she was grateful to the organisation for giving her child an opportunity to be part of the playgroup and assisting with the school materials.
“I am blessed that these teachers are here for our children because I am not working and I do not have money to pay the R300 or R400 for the crèche,” she said.
Dianne Solomon, who is a single parent and a mother to five children, said three of her children have been part of the playgroup.
“It has been a great help and it helped to change my life because every year I could not afford to get the stationery and uniform, and the kids would get the breakfast and lunch here and I am very grateful for them,” she said.
Melissa Smit, 34, whose only means of income is doing gardening tasks, expressed her gratitude to the organisation. Her 5-year-old son, Trevaun, will starting Grade R at Hindle Road Primary School.
“I just want to say thank you to Hope for what they are doing for my child and (teaching) him the alphabet. He is good for school now and we are grateful to Hope for being here in Blikkiesdorp,” she said.
Founder of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu SA, Lucinda Evans, has been running the the ’Kit Campaign’ since 2020 to collect shoes and stationery.
She said her organisation donated 202 pairs of school shoes and 50 packs of stationery in Steenberg last year. This year she was hoping to donate more.
“This year we hope we can donate 300 pairs of school shoes and people can come and physically drop the school shoes in our centre at 57 Strauss Road (Steenberg), or a monetary donation and our banking details are on the website of the organisation. We are running this campaign from now until March,” said Evans.
Latifah Jacob, an activist in Kuilsriver, started collecting school shoes and stationery in December and is hoping to supply as many children as she can in the area.