Khayelitsha NGO, Kwakhanya Greening and Home-based Care donated food parcels and stationery to more than 100 pupils from Site C, on Tuesday February 2, as part of its back to school campaign.
There were ululations as the founder and owner of Kwakhanya, Sweetness Mzolisa, assisted by some volunteers, handed over the donations, with ecstatic parents and pupils going up on stage.
She said her organisation aimed to support volunteer efforts in public education.
The organisation also deals with people affected by and infected with HIV/Aids, while offering unemployed women training in home-based care and greening. They also teach young people the life skills required to deal with loss and grief.
“We are working with the community of Site C to fight poverty, among other things. We have 15 home-based carers who go around (the area) every day. Through the information they source, we managed to learn about the challenges faced by these families. That is why we have embarked on a back to school campaign,” she said.
Ms Mzolisa said most Khayelitsha children were thirsty for education but faced a lot of challenges. She said unemployment and substance abuse are some of the stumbling blocks.
“Young people are willing to go to school, but there are too many troubles in their homes and in the community. After listening to the stories that came (via) the carers we decided to buy not only books and shoes, but (also) washing rags, soap and food.
“It might not be enough, but it is something that will open the way for them. That is why we always appeal to the government to help where possible. Many children struggle to go to school, and we do not want that. We all know that the brains will never function when the stomach is empty,” she said.
Parent Mnoneleli Bunyula said he was happy that most schools were covered.
He said the parcels made a difference to the lives of young people.
“Hats off to this organisation for taking such a bold step in helping children who are less fortunate. This has made a huge difference in their lives. Some did not have shoes. They will now have brand new school shoes. They will be like others, they will not be outcasts. This has really made a big difference in their lives,” he said.
Nomonde Gebe, a carer at the organisation, praised the foot soldiers for their dedication to identifying the poor homes. She said had it not been for them, the organisation would not have become aware of the plight of many families.
“These people are doing a sterling job. I am part of them, but I must give credit to them. Every day they go out and come with stories. They have served the community well,” she said.