Walking barefoot to school every day to seek education to build a better tomorrow, is what prompted the office of the Emfuleni Local Municipality's executive mayor to solicit donors to assist these struggling learners. This is the story of 134 learners who are hungry for education.
These learners from eight Evaton primary and secondary Schools in Emfuleni Local Municipality, have a reason to smile after they were given brand new school shoes. Executive Mayor Greta Hlongwane and Lawrence Khekhe Education Foundation donated the shoes to those who are from poverty-stricken families.
The project is currently underway in Gauteng and will ran until March. Reviewing the start of the school year, she's also called on teachers to improve the quality of teaching in the classroom
Witness Chari (12), a grade 6 learner at Lindisa Primary School, and Neo Sedikane (10) of Letsemeng Primary School, a grade 4, are some of the pupils who got their new pairs of toughee's shoes.
“The learners were identified by their schools as those in real need because their parents were unemployed while others were orphans living with their siblings”, explained the soft spoken but emotionally touched Lawrence Khekhe, as he marshals his team to give schools shoes.
Khekhe challenged his fellow Vaal based businesses to stand up and do something for Sedibeng community's development.
“As Vaal community, we have many successful people, please let's join hands to plough back into our own townships. There are number of needy children”, explained Khekhe.
Setjele Mofokeng, a municipality youth coordinator, used the platform to report on the Emfuleni mayoral bursary scheme for this academic year. He saod a total of thirty bursaries have been awarded to academically deserving youth of Emfuleni Local Municipality.
“The executive mayor, Greta Hlongwane, expects nothing less than meritorious performance from all bursary recipients. This bursary is the Municipality’s contribution towards creating skills for our economy and municipality”, said Mofokeng.
In an effort to cater for youth out of school, the Lucky Khekhe Education Foundation is currently in consultation with the VUT to lease sum of its former Vista buildings for te purpose of setting up a youth centre to address the growing needs to save youth out of social ills and peer pressure.
“We want young people to reach their dreams through holistic empowerment and development”, explained Lawrence outlining the foundations ambitious plans.
Some of the pledges made on the day included Mr Ndlovu of global business round table.
In his vote of thanks, Lawrence sent words of appreciation to Ratone of Tiro funeral services as the key sponsor for the projects. Sedibeng west education department expressed its excitement to see ordinary citizens joining hands with them.
“Education is a societal issue therefore it is everybody’s business,” said Mr Motsiri a representative of Sedibeng district eight.
One of the school shoes’s beneficiaries, Lerato Jones, 18, a grade nine pupils at Maqheke Secondary School was emotional and thanked the office of the executive mayor and its partners in making this project a reality.
“I am happy today because I have a new pair of school shoes. Thank you, Lawrence Khekhe Foundation for making this possible. I will be able to walk to school proudly”, she said excitedly, speaking on behalf of all schools shoes beneficiaries.
By Thabiso Radebe