Lace Up brings joy to Rio Grande Primary

Vice-chairman of Lace Up For Change, Irafaan Abrahams, addresses the pupils.

Pupils at Rio Grande Primary School in Manenberg were given new school shoes, warm meals, fruit, and snacks last week.

Lace Up For Change donated the shoes. The organisation raises money to buy school shoes for disadvantaged children.

Rio Grande is the third school to benefit from the project, in honour of Abdullah Peters, one of Lace Up For Change’s supporters, who died last year.

Last year the organisation donated school shoes to Bramble Way Primary School and the year before to Thornton Road Primary School.

Every year, Lace Up For Change appeals to the public to support the cause, and last year, Mr Peters and a colleague ran 43km for which each sponsoring individual paid R100 a kilometre.

Lace Up’s vice chairman Irafaan Abrahams said all children deserved a new pair of school shoes – they gave them confidence and made them look smart in their school uniforms.

But, it was not just about the shoes, he added. Lace Up wanted to show the children that there were people who cared for them.

“Teaching doesn’t only take place in the classroom; there is a far greater need that we need to look at. We are appealing for more people to donate towards this worthy cause as so many children still need our help.”

Mr Abrahams also founded the Boeber Run, which started in June 2015 in partnership with Islamic Relief, to distribute boeber and food to the homeless.

Rio Grande principal Brenda Manual said she was grateful for the donation. Many parents sent their children to school in takkies or slippers because they could not afford school shoes, she said.

“Most of the children are wearing hand-me-downs; many of the children’s shoes are too small as well so I am really ecstatic about this.”