The pupils of Harry Gwala High School in Makhaza were the latest to benefit from an initiative by the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) through which they provide school children with uniforms.
The school uniform donation drive is one of the many initiatives that Sassa runs in an effort to plough back to the community.
Sassa representative, Nomalinga Jozi, said they understood that some children came from impoverished families who struggled to put food on the table and even buying just the basics that children needed for school, became an added burden on their shoulders.
Ms Jozi said they wanted to restore the children’s dignity and make them feel loved and appreciated and that they spent R2 000 on each child. She said life obstacles should not derail young people from furthering their studies and chasing their dreams and that a lack of school uniforms and basic necessities often destroyed the children’s confidence, sometimes resulting in them simply dropping out of school. Importantly, she said, they wanted the pupils to be able to focus on their studies rather than worrying about how they would afford the things they needed for school. “If we can’t support our children, who will support them? It takes a village to raise a child and parents should not suffer alone in silence when we can assist.
“I urge other departments and businesses to follow our paths. We want to create a better environment for our children. But I hope that they could help others in future,” she said.
Principal Gcinisile Mlungu praised Sassa for their gesture and appealed to them to continue with it as such donations uplifted the children’s confidence while also encouraging them to attend school. Their kindness, he said, illustrated to the children that there were other people who cared about the future leaders of the country.
Parent Ziyanda Maholwana said she was over the moon with excitement and that for her, as a single parent and unemployed mother, life had not been easy. Many times, she said, she had been unable to meet all her child’s educational needs.
School governing body chairperson ,Petros Matho, said this would be one of the proudest moments of the school this year and that he had no words to express how grateful he was for the donation.