Former Learners donate over 100 pairs of good quality shoes
by Dumi Mbona
Ngqayizivele Secondary School in Tembisa held an energy fun filled event on the 25th of January earlier this year. A passionate teacher in Mr. TI Skonje together with his team of former learners at the school; which included Luvo Mlobeli of Supersport coordinated this inspirational event. Dignitaries in attendance included; Department of Education as well as local community leaders and celebrities such as Lindiwe Dube, Bridgette Mohloba, Vyno Miller, Hazel Nkomo, Xolani Luhabe, Lerato Pasha, Lerato Morotolo, Beverly Mnyandu, Councillor Thabang and Thabile Tsotetsi to name a few.
Social Networks such as Facebook are well known for connecting distanced friends and families; but it is also known for some not so nice things depending on how an individual uses it! Luvo decided to use it for positive purposes which are to find former schoolmates at Ngqayizivele Secondary School.
It was when he was invited at Mrs. Palesa Rankobe’s (school administrator) event as a photographer; where he took photos of those teachers in attendance and shared them on facebook captioned “do you remember these faces”; many of former learners liked and shared those photos on their timelines; the idea was born! “I was fascinated with the response and I was like; guys why don’t we start something like a shoe campaign called One Person One Pair. Where each person buys a pair of school shoes and collectively we send them to school as a token of appreciation to the teachers who helped shape our careers and instilled great values in us even at the time when we didn’t know what were they preparing us for?” Luvo explained.
It took several sleepless nights of organizing using social networks. On their first meeting which was attended by an amazing 50 former learners at Ngqayizivele Secondary School; it was agreed that a “buying power” is needed; of which a bank account was opened to allow people to deposit an amount of R300 each.
Luvo continued to push people to deposit the money and the response was incredible as everyone rallied behind this vision “It was scary; they say if the vision
do not scare you it’s not big enough. The first time we went to buy 66 pairs of good quality shoes” Luvo said in excitement.
“I personally come from a very poor background; raised without a father, a teacher identified that without me telling her. She called me aside and asked where my father was? I got emotional and told her how it affected me that he was absent. It was amazing that she could see my situation. There were times where we had to stay behind at school for extra classes; these teachers would buy food for us. I was an average learner and at times really failed in simple subjects; my teachers advised me to loosen up which completely changed my academic performance” Luvo recalls.
It is clear that those simple gestures from teachers created pyramids of kindness in Luvo which led to this moment here at Ngqayizivele Secondary School
Pairs of school Shoes distributed on the day were 106 “my vision is to spread this all over Tembisa; to go to different schools especially primary schools. For the fact that we had other people who are not former students like my boss at SuperSport contributing, it shows the importance of this initiative. This event today is a result of a team of people who share the same passion and values, I believe there are many more out there” Luvo concludes.
We caught up with some of the current learners at Ngqayizivele Secondary School; Rebecca Motshe, Relebokgile Nomanase, Boitumelo Motsoaneng and Ntombokhanyo Madubela.
This day means that former learners at our school are giving back to the community so that we as current learners have confidence and are equal to other kids” Rebecca.
“It’s a good thing that they have given us the shoes because in class other learners pick on us; so now our self-esteem will improve” Relebokgile.
“It shows us no matter what happens in life you must be able to help other kids, our home situations are not the same. Others feel ashamed that they don’t have shoes; it helps because we will not miss school because of damaged shoes” Boitumelo
“Our parents are unemployed so this initiative relieve stress and worry for them. They encourage us to do the same to others one day; we would like to say thank you to former learners at Ngqayizivele” Ntombokhanyo.
“For me it also speaks of us being brave enough to raise our hands in the class and say we need help because many other learners get embarrassed of what others might say” Rebecca.
“When someone ask ‘what do you want?’ you must be able to speak because one day you will regret it once the opportunity has passed and you didn’t use it” Relebokgile
“At first I felt a bit shy but I told myself that I don’t live to please people, because whether you doing good or bad people will talk; so I have to ask for help if I need it and don’t feel ashamed” Boitumelo.
This is what other Ngqayizivele Secondary School former learners had to say
by Romeo Moyo
“As a learner you don’t think much about things but once you get out of school you get to learn other things; and realized that in fact you faced similar challenges. They say when you are well dressed you gain confidence so getting a pair of shoes inspires a learner to get up in the morning put on a good pair of shoes and go to school. This is our first of many projects to come since we exceeded our target of hundred pairs of shoes”
“I never had an experience of being without school shoes while I was a learner, but I remember one of my friends didn’t have proper school shoes and uniform, so when I think of her having to travel long distance it caused her to have a low self-esteem. This experience has taught me that you don’t need to have a lot of money to make a difference, the small that you have make an impact in someone’s life.
“This experience teaches us to have a giving hand, It shows us that we need one another this is very important because I might have a break and someone may need my help, we extend an invitation to other former learners out there to join this initiative. We can do so much in transforming this school, let’s assist our government”
When people get together for a good course amazing things happen!
“We heard about this initiative through one of our staff members who is a former learner at this school. She told us about the project and so we felt compelled to help. We are a company that wants to build a generation so this initiative is close to our heart because we know that education is very important; in this way we plant a seed that will become our future. We wanted to assist learners at Ngqayizivele with basic essentials” Khanyisa Madluli from Sim-tel.
“We encouraging more former learners to come through hence we started an Alumni Association so that we can give value to such initiatives. For example the school’s needs list included a shelter for the assemble area, recreational facility such as netball court, cooler boxes for water in each class”
“Blessed is the hand that gives. Those who receive are going to become better people. It’s very important to appreciate each other; as a school we have learned that through interacting with former learners the education chain goes beyond the classroom, it has transcended school boundaries into various sectors of our society. It speaks a message of how well we have done to produce such individuals and today we witness the seed germinating, it will multiply which is fulfilling for us” Mr. TI Sknonje.