Every year for the past seven years the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) momentarily breaks away from its core duties of managing industry disputes to create joyful moments for children in need by distributing much needed school stationery to learners from Grade R to matric across greater Cape Town, Soweto and other parts of South Africa.
This year’s stationery drive was the biggest yet with more than 300 learners from Manenberg, Macassar, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Scottsdene, and other under-privileged areas across the Cape Flats now able to start the new school year with confidence and the tools to enable functional learning.
Spearheaded by SARPBAC General Secretary, Gary Wilson, the stationery drive event was held at the Edith Stephens Nature Reserve in Philippi in partnership with Momentum and FedGroup, respectively responsible for the administration of the SARPBAC retirement fund and the care of minor beneficiaries of deceased parents that belonged to the SARPBAC retirement fund, and was also supported Greyhound, Fenns Incorporated and the Immanuel Redeemed African Methodist Church.
The event programme included a tour around the nature reserve by nature conservation guides, followed by short motivational speeches from two young adults from the community who shared their stories and the impact of the choices they made.
Encouragement and upliftment was the tone of the day and a strong message was conveyed to parents and learners to use the tools to enhance themselves and prove that they can do better by believing in themselves.
“The stationery packs are not handouts. They are tools with which learners can build their confidence and have a sense of belonging knowing that they have the resources to thrive at school,” says Gary Wilson who started the initiative after seeing children on the street who were too embarrassed to attend school because they had no resources or support.
A partnership formed with Manenberg High School four years ago enabled SARPBAC to play a role in the success of a learner who was supported with stationery up until matric and has since graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.
Recognising that the Council represents workers from communities in need, it is a privilege and a pleasure to play a role in alleviating pressure from parents unable to adequately support their children while providing tools to empower learners to create a solid educational foundation on which to build a bright future.
We are thrilled that many learners will start the new school year with confidence.
Visit our Facebook page to view the photo album of the day