Hammarsdale schools delighted to receive reusable masks
MRP Foundation has embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign for 78,000 masks for learners in its schools

MRP Foundation’s Bongiwe Tshwane and Pain Mashingaidze with Grade 7 learners from Peaceville Primary School in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, displaying the masks they received from the NGO, as part of its campaign to raise funds for 78,000 masks for learners at schools supported by the youth development organisation.

At the heart of the MRP Foundation lies the youth of South Africa. The NGO, whose vision is to see young people break the cycle of poverty and inequality through its education and skills development programmes, embarked on a different journey to help the youth since the beginning of the lockdown.

Apart from it’s #HopeToCope campaign, providing guidance for learners, parents and educators, MRP Foundation has embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign for 78,000 masks for learners in its schools.

“Although we still have a way to go, we are humbled to be able to heed our government’s call to action to make a difference, most especially in vulnerable communities through the generosity of our donors,” said Karen Wells, Head of MRP Foundation. 

Last week, the NGO delivered the first batch of masks to Peaceville Primary School, one of 98 MRP Foundation supported schools across four provinces.

Through delighted smiles and a joyous song to thank the Foundation, 143 Grade 7 learners at Peaceville Primary School in the KwaZulu-Natal region of Hammarsdale expressed their gratitude for their masks.

Like all South African schools, learners, educators and visitors to the school have to adhere to stringent screening rules every time they enter the school property, with temperatures being taken, hand sanitisation and social distancing being practiced. Currently, each Grade 7 class is divided into two smaller classes to accommodate social distancing inside the classroom.

A few kilometres away, at Entendeleni Primary School, educators, staff, cleaners, security guards, food handlers, School Management Teams and assistant volunteers from a few local schools were being trained at a COVID-19 Safety Workshop, in anticipation of the return of Grade R, 1, 2, 3 and 6 learners on July 6. The Foundation is committed to supporting these schools through the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting principals, school management and educators through mentorship and workshops.

Although all protocols are in place, Entendeleni School principal Mr Prosper Luthuli voiced his concern about social distancing since floor space is limited. “Our classrooms are subdivided, with two grades per classroom. Practicing social distancing is going to be a challenge as grades are phased in.”

The school has ten classrooms for 250 learners and employs four teachers across seven grades, and depends on volunteers for assistance. “Our teachers are being trained to deal with the return of the learners. I hope we can manage the new normality,” he added.

Ms Penelope Ndlovu, the principal of the neighbouring Enyosini Primary School is cautiously optimistic, saying, “I am sure that together we can conquer anything!”

“We, together with parents, must be able to teach our children, that this is now the new normal for everyone. It’s in disguise promoting hygiene in all aspects of life. I hope we will come through and survive as a nation, working together with the NGOs like MRP Foundation, businesses and the government.”  She encouraged everyone to lend a helping hand in every way they can. This affects and involves everyone, from the community and the schools to business.

The MRP Foundation Schools Programme is a holistic education programme active in 98 primary schools in low-income areas across the country [Tongaat (20), Hammarsdale (20), QwaQwa (20), Soweto (20) and Mitchell’s Plain (18)]. The programme focuses on supporting school management and leadership, educator development, parent and community involvement and holistic learner development.

To date, the MRP Foundation has raised enough funds to help protect well over 23,000 young learners and should you wish to make a donation please click here.

More images can be seen here.

MRP Foundation has embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign for 78,000 masks for learners in its schools