There were smiles at Yomelela Primary School, in Site B, Khayelitsha when Mgebe Security Services donated 90 school tracksuits to three Khayelitsha schools, on Friday July 29. Pupils from primary schools were beaming with pride as they wore the new uniforms.
Boby Gubuza, general manager of Mgebe, said whatever dreams school pupils have are shattered when their basic school needs are not met and that the initiative was a step towards motivating the pupils to continue attending school, despite the hardships they might be facing.
Mr Gubuza said the donation drive started last yearwhen they donated 20 school uniforms to five schools, including the three which had received the tracksuits.
He added that the aim of the company was to ensure that all pupils in Khayelitsha who come from disadvantaged families were also afforded the opportunity to further their education.
Mr Gubuza said their aim was to help reduce the burden on families which were child-headed or in which children were living with relatives other than their parents.
This, he added, was not his company’s first involvement with charitable work. Before this, he said, they had been helping local NGOs and were currently funding two Khayelitsha students who were studying at Cape Town College.
Furthermore, he said, the company also hosts workshops, aimed at empowering budding business people with ways to make their businesses sustainable and profitable.
With the grinding poverty and crime levels in Khayelitsha, he said, the company was in the process of launching a foundation that would assist the young people of Khayelitsha to turn their dreams into reality and provide them with the necessary tools they need to better their lives.
“The birth of the idea of providing school uniforms came from the owner of the company, Sithembiso Mtengwane, who said it was excruciating to see pupils wearing school uniforms which were in rags.
“We also live in Khayelitsha. We know the hardships faced by our people and we are not just doing this because we are a company, but we are doing this because we also faced similar challenges while we were growing up.
“We don’t just want to support schools from the Site B area, but we are aiming to visit other schools around Khayelitsha,” he said.
Mr Gubuza said the company also hopes to start sports tournaments during school holidays.
Yomelela Primary School principal Zoliswa Mafilika heaped praise on the initiative, saying it was a step in the right direction in encouraging pupils to prioritise education as the only tool that will rescue them from poverty.
She said many parents of Khayelitsha were facing mammoth challenges and struggling to make ends meet. She explained that lack of school resources and support were the major contributors to the escalating number of school drop-outs.
Ms Mafilika said the school was grateful for the donation which gave hope to the destitute pupils.
“Madiba himself said education is a powerful tool that could change the lives of people.
“We are grateful to the owner of Mgebe and it is good to see business people ploughing back to their communities and what is more exciting is that he is a former pupil of Kukhanyile primary school,” she said.
Parent Abongile Mangisana she was thrilled that her child had received a new tracksuit.
“We will always remain indebted to the owner of Mgebe company because in our days there are few people who still practice the spirit of Ubuntu without expecting anything in return,” she said.