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Helping to Ease the Walk to School

According to research done many children in South Africa live far from school. In the study done ‘far’ was identified as travelling more than 30 minutes to get to school, irrespective of the mode of transport. This also includes those children who travel to school on foot. School shoes are deemed a necessity and when the barrier of obtaining this necessity is removed many more children can receive education.

In addition the study shows that only 3% of students make use of school buses or school transport provided by the Government. The report also found that “[t]he majority (74%) of white children are driven to school in private cars, compared with only 17% of African children.” Meaning that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are impacted more by the lack of transport to school and need proper school shoes to assist them in this journey.

For children to achieve a proper education, they need to find a safe and reliable way to school. Not-for-profit organisation, The Love Trust knows this and that is why they provide transport for their children to facilitate their journey to school. However, they still need to walk to the bus stop for the school bus to be able to pick them up. The necessity for school shoes is therefore still top priority for their students.

Thanks to OneSpark, a globally backed InsurTech and Bathu, a leading local sneaker brand, this pair supported children from the Nokuphila School, an initiative of The Love Trust, by donating 60 pairs of shoes this Heritage Month. 31 pairs between the two organisations, and the balance through the generous donations of individuals and businesses.

“This heritage month, we wanted to do our part to unlock the boundless potential our country has, by donating school shoes to those children who need them, ensuring that no child has any barriers or obstacles to obtaining an education. With this donation we have given 60 young students an equal opportunity to succeed, so thank you to all who got involved and donated to ensure that no child is prevented from obtaining an education because of lack of access to basic essentials,” says Josh Kaplan – founder and joint CEO of OneSpark.

A glimpse into the reality of a vulnerable life

Sipho*, is an enthusiastic learner and shows willingness to learn, acts responsibly, works well within a group, and shows appreciation for the efforts of other learners. He is every teacher’s dream student, as he enjoys participating in class and answering the questions that he knows the answer to. Most of all, he absolutely enjoys storytelling.

Sipho lives with his parents, and his sister. Both his parents are unemployed, and they depend on the monthly R460.00 social grant they receive from the Government. On top of that, Sipho’s 19-year-old sister, who did not finish school, has a baby on the way.

The family resides in an informal settlement; they do not have electricity and use the communal toilet. Bringing in money is their biggest challenge resulting in a shortage of food, leading to a problem in providing three meals on a daily basis.

As parents, their wish for Sipho is to continue to receive a good education through Nokuphila School and have the opportunity to finish his studies. He is their last hope for the family.

Their daily routine actively supports Sipho’s education. Sipho’s mother wakes up early every morning to prepare him for school and walks him to the Nokuphila School bus stop at 6am and collects him after school without failure.

Thanks to the cheerful givers

Themba Temba, principal of Nokuphila Primary School, says: “We are thrilled to be chosen by OneSpark and Bathu for the generous donation of school shoes to our learners. While The Love Trust provides school transport for our learners, outside of that many of our children take to the roads and public transport. A good pair of comfortable shoes, not only sees to their safety but to their path of success as well. A warm thanks to the individuals and donors who got involved. The kindness shown by these two organisations and the other donors will live in the memory of both our learners and their parents for a lifetime!”

Sipho* name changed to protect the identity of the learner.

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