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Life Healthcare gives back to learners at Siyanda Secondary School in Kwa-Zulu Natal

Life Healthcare, a leading private hospital group in South Africa, is embarking on initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and addressing the critical sanitary towels shortage challenge in South Africa. This forms part of its ongoing Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives which aim to make life better for the communities it operates in.

 

The CSI initiatives were rolled out at Siyanda Secondary School, located in the Sweetwaters area in Kwa-Zulu Natal this week. On Monday, 25 October 2021, 1255 food parcels were donated to every student in the school. Life Healthcare contracted The Gift of the Givers Foundation as their distribution agency and each food parcel consisted of non-perishables and high-protein food to feed a family of four for four weeks.

On Tuesday, 26 October the focus was on the girl child and feminine care packs, containing eco-friendly washable and reusable sanitary pads, deodorant, soap and a face mask were delivered to 653 girls. The  Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo was also in attendance at this event. Our purpose at Life Healthcare remains making life better and we remain committed to spearheading and supporting initiatives aimed at providing support to those who need it,” says Ansuyiah Padayachee, community and external affairs manager at Life Healthcare Group.

In South Africa, many girls miss up to 50 days of school each year, which on average is three to five days a month. In the context of a learner’s education, this is approximately 18% of the school year which can place a massive set back in female learner’s school careers. “We hope that the care packs will help those learners who may not be able to afford sanitary pads every month and are forced to miss school, to keep up with their studies,” says Padayachee.

 

Life Healthcare is also committed to creating a skilled workforce for the provision of cost-effective, quality and competent patient care. In addition to the feminine packs given, Grade12 female learners at the school, who meet the necessary criteria, were given the opportunity to apply for a one-year Nursing Higher Certificate, a three-year Diploma in nursing and a four-year degree in nursing at a university of their choice. Collectively and over the tuition period, these studies are worth approximately R500 000. 

 

To conclude the day, career guidance sessions on nursing and pharmacy were held and there were also educational talks on teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. Commenting on the Life Healthcare contribution to the school, Siyanda Secondary Headmaster, Mr Bennie Matomela expressed his gratitude to Life Healthcare. “I only knew a hospital as an institution that looks after the ill. I have never seen a hospital group partner with a school with the objective of taking the learners from disadvantaged communities to better heights. Some of our learners come from economically challenged households and it is very encouraging to see the private sector get involved and lend a hand to communities who need it most. What you have done for these girls is commendable. On behalf of Siyanda Secondary School, we really thank Life Healthcare.”

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