There were smiles at Homba Primary School, in Khayelitsha, on Thursday February 16, when Deputy Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the presidency, Buti Manamela donated 50 pairs of school shoes to needy pupils.
The donation came after former pupil Andile Ndevu, who runs Ubuntu Youth Development organisation in Khayelitsha, pleaded with the minister to intervene. Mr Manamela said the shortage of school shoes was a major problem across the country, particularly in township areas.
He added that most kids were raised by single parents.
Mr Manamela said the initiative, which he started two years ago, strived to restore pupils dignity and to encourage them to study. He added that he was pleased by the feedback he got about the school’s academic performance and committed himself into providing the necessary support to the school.
Mr Manamela said he was aware of the challenges the school faced, and called on businesses and people across the country to practise the spirit of Ubuntu by giving back to the community.
Mr Ndevu said when he heard about Mr Manamela’s initiative, he decided to contact him and informed him about the daily challenges faced by his former school.
He said it was important not to forget where you came from after you had made it in life and also called on former school mates to plough back into the school to ensure that it kept shining and providing quality education.
School principal Samkelo Tukulula thanked Mr Manamela, noting that the school had a high rate of absenteeism because most parents struggled to meet their children’s basic school needs.
This, he said, put them at risk of being de-registered.
Mr Tukulula added that some parents hired private transport for their children, while others were unable to pay monthly transport fees. He added that the school does not have a playground.
“I hope that Mr Manamela will adopt the school or recommend people to adopt our school so that we can receive additional support. We are grateful for the donation.
“I hope that this is not the last time he would be visiting us, and we hope to get more people to support us,” he said.