Forum reaches out to needy pupils

There was joy and happiness as Sakhikamva Networking Forum from PJS informal settlements in Khayelitsha brought much needed school uniforms to pupils of three primary schools.

Ninety pupils from three schools in Khayelitsha can now attend school looking smart after Sakhikamva Networking Forum from PJS informal settlements organised full school uniforms for them.

After realising that pupils from their schools were struggling and that some would skip school as they did not have the proper uniform, community members rallied together and sourced the clothing.

The excited pupils from Chumisa, Soyisile and Sosebenza primary schools received their new uniforms on Tuesday January 30.

Their parents now have one less thing to worry about.

The full uniform consists of skirts, pants, socks, blouses and shoes for each pupil.

Teachers and parents said they were overjoyed to see their school pupils receiving the new attire, which was aimed at bringing them a sense of pride and belonging.

Teachers said some of the pupils had been forced to go to school wearing an odd assortment of clothing because their parents could not afford to buy school uniforms.

They said the high rate of unemployment has made it difficult for many pupils to own a proper pair of shoes or trousers.

Teachers praised the Sakhikamva Networking Forum for seeing the need to plough back into the community of Khayelitsha.

Established in 2010, the forum specialises in social services. They also create awareness about social ills and work closely with offenders and children through their programmes.

Founded by Nontando Mhlabeni after seeing the escalating crime, especially by young people, in the area of PJS, the forum is now trying to help the needy school children.

The forum’s secretary Mveliso Jevu said the situation of many children was dire.

“We realised when children go to school that they have no full uniform.

“There are some who go to school barefoot and others with all sorts of clothing other than the uniform. We had to go beg some organisations and we met a group called DDS that helped us a lot. They gave us what we wanted. All praise must go to them for providing,” he said.

He encouraged the children to show their appreciation for the uniforms they received by studying hard and doing their best at school.

Soyisile Primary School deputy principal Xoliswa Mexico could not hide her excitement.

She said she has never seen her children look so clean and presentable.

They could now focus on their education.

“It is all thanks to those who saw a need to sponsor the full uniforms. The children look beautiful and clean. Remember many of these children depend on social grants because their parents are either single parents or not working. This is a great day for them and us as schools,” she said.

Equally excited was Sosebenza Primary School deputy principal, Nozipho Majola, who said it was good to see the children getting the much needed clothing.

She said the children were also in need of food but she was happy that they at least had uniforms now.