Parents and teachers from four schools in Khayelitsha could not contain their excitement when African Leadership, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), donated 80 school uniforms to needy pupils on Tuesday May 30.
Pupils from Isiphiwo, Luleka and Tshayelelo primary schools, and Manyano High School, gathered at the premises of Luleka Primary to receive the school uniforms.
The organisation said the aim was to make a meaningful contribution to the “promotion of community, society transformation and development”.
They said they believed it was vital to invest in the future of children because they were the ones who would build communities in years to come.
Addressing parents, teachers and community leaders, founder of the organisation, Young Huem Ohm, said he did not donate the school uniforms because he was wealthy but because he knew and understood that some children came from impoverished families.
Mr Ohm said society was responsible for raising children.
He said he hoped that the children who received uniforms would be able to better focus on their studies and not worry about what to wear to school. And to these children, he appealed to them to not feel demoralised because they were recipients of a donation. Instead, he said, his donation was meant to boost their morale and self-esteem.
He said if the parents were unable to afford the school needs of the children, then the community should step in to assist.
Mr Ohm said the harsh reality was that when the children’s basic school needs were not met, their learning is negatively affected.
He told the pupils that when they saw something wrong with their peers, they should call them aside and try to fix it instead of mocking them in front of others.
He pointed out that while life had its own challenges, they should never drop out of school because through education they have a chance to rescue their families from poverty.
Mr Ohm also called on local business people to plough back to their communities, saying young children deserved to be afforded a chance in life to become what they wanted to be.
“I grew up in a poor family and I understand your hardship completely. It is up to us as the community to support children. These are the future leaders of this country and world and need to supported.
“The hand that gives is more blessed than the one that is receiving. This is my way of uplifting these communities,” he said.
Mr Ohm said he donated about 250 school uniforms to various schools across Khayelitsha every year.
A visibly excited parent, Fumana Sondamase, said she was at a loss for words to express her gratitude to the organisation for what she described as their spirit of Ubuntu which “has no boundaries”.
She said if the children had everything they needed for school, nothing could stop them from achieving their dreams.
Chairperson of the school governing body of Luleka Primary, Thabisile Mkhize, said she was over the moon with joy and excitement.