NGO provides comfort for matric pupils

Education MEC Debbie Schafer is flanked by Philswa Mariman and Sipho Xazana during a visit to Uyesu Unathi.

Khayelitsha-based non-governmental organisation, Uyesu Unathi, has been praised by Education MEC Debbie Schafer for its continued efforts to improve the community.

The organisation provides support and study rooms to Grade 12 pupils in preparation for their final examinations. Some of the pupils come from Bulumko, Masiyile, Manyano, Phandulwazi, Matthew Goniwe and Luhlaza high schools.

During Ms Schafer’s visit to Uyesu Unathi offices on Tuesday October 11, she said people should never underestimate the role played by NGOs in improving the lives of the poor. She said the aim of her visit was to show her unwavering support for the organisation and to encourage it to continue its work.

She said the organisation was among many who selflessly donate their time and resources to reshape the lives of township youth.

Ms Schafer said there was a misconception that the government had unlimited resources and could provide everything . She added that Grade 12 pupils needed any form of support and urged everyone to join hands to help them.

“Some of the Grade 12 pupils do not have quiet places where they can study and this organisation allows them to have a place where they can do that without being bothered.

“It is a conducive environment for them. We can only achieve 100 percent pass rates if different community organisations extend a helping hand. I know this is a drop in the ocean, but at least they are doing something,” she said.

Uyesu Unathi manager Sipho Xazana said they started the Grade 12 programme because they discovered that most pupils did not have conducive studying spaces in their homes.

He said they expected more than 30 Grade 12 pupils to use their facilities from later this month. They will also host a camp which will continue for the duration of the exams and pupils who want to sleep at the facility overnight would be allowed to do so.

Mr Xazana said they also planned to help the pupils apply for their learner driver’s licences once they’ve completed their exams.

“We are currently engaging with the local business people and the provincial government to finance their driving lessons,” he said.

Mr Xazana urged the parents to support their children and reduce their home chores so they could study. He also pleaded with local business people to support the organisation.

Science and maths tutor Athi Goza, 26, said when he graduated from Rosebank College in 2011 with an IT diploma, he battled to get a job and opted to help the pupils.

He met Mr Xazana, who asked him to join the organisation, at the beginning of the year. “It is important to assist the pupils because they are our brothers and sisters. Because I did not get a job after I graduated I did not want to sit and down and do nothing hence I offered to tutor the pupils,” he said.