Following the positive relationship built through the FundiFund 12-4-12 race in 2020, the Fundi Foundation has announced it will be officially “adopting” Tembisa High School. Framed as part of the larger Tembisa Inclusive Educational Transformational Programme (TIETP) Fundi has initiated in the area, this partnership will see its FundiFund actively support learners, their teachers and families in the greater community – assisting them to realise the “promise” or “hope” of their namesake township, through education.
Saturday 12 June 2021 saw the lives of excited learners, teachers and community members connected to Tembisa High School fundamentally change with the announcement of the Fundi Foundation’s partnership of the school. While only select representatives attended the event due to Covid-19 protocols, the mood was jubilant as students received new school bags and uniforms, and an incentive scheme to motivate top learners was launched.
Speaking at the event, Fundi CEO Makgau Dibakwane expressed the hope he felt for the future when he looked at the group of young people before him: “The challenges you are experiencing now – many of which we do not understand – are shaping you to reach for a better future. As Fundi we are here to support your dreams and aspirations. We will walk alongside you and your teachers to help make them a reality. We are committed to playing a positive role in your lifelong education journey to know more and be more.”
He highlighted that Fundi’s relationship with the school was part of a broader commitment to the education ecosystem in the Tembisa Community – which includes early childhood development centres and primary schools; all of which are critical to building a system of quality education. “The Tembisa Inclusive Educational Transformational Programme (TIETP) we have created with and beyond your school will help to address many of the complex challenges acting as barriers to education in this area. Together with other stakeholders we will work to overcome them by pooling financial resources, skills, networks and local knowledge and bring positive impact and change. This programme starts today – with you.”
Principal Steve Ngwane noted the extensive engagement that had taken place with Fundi before reaching this point of partnership. “Challenges facing our learners cannot be viewed in isolation, and include deep socio-economic challenges such as drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment, hunger, poverty and violence. Schools are a space of refuge for many. They must become places that create long-term sustainable change. We need committed partners to assist us to achieve this vision. This is why today’s launch is so positive. Together we can undoubtedly do so much more.”
With over 2 000 students registered at Tembisa High School this year, 439 of whom are in matric, the FundiFund’s first response was to address some of the most pressing issues at hand where an immediate difference could be made and felt. This included providing a six-month supply of sanitary towels to the 1 032 girl learners at the school and donating 50 complete school uniform packs to learners most in need; as well as 500 waterproof school bags to learners without bags to carry their books.
“An incentive scheme has also been launched in each grade to keep students motivated and improve their results. This will see the top three students win prizes of R700, R500 and R300 respectively at the end of the year. The money will be loaded onto a FundiCard for them to use within our Fundi merchant network including Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite and uSave, among others. We believe this will give many students something tangible to work and strive for, and are excited to see what positivity and commitment it unlocks in class,” says Dibakwane. “While this is arguably just the tip of the iceberg in terms of bringing real change, it represents a tangible start that we look forward to building on. By taking a different approach to community partnership in this area, we want to create a new model that enables long-term student success and allows the potential of Tembisa’s youth to be unlocked and reimagined.”