New school shoes for Manenberg pupils

Al-Imdaad donated school shoes, tables and chairs, backpacks and lunch boxes to Easter Peak Primary School. At the handover, from left, are Yagyah Nasiep, Yusuf Rajah, principal Ebrahim Joseph and Ward 46 councillor, Aslam Cassiem.

As part of its annual back-to-school drive, the Al-Imdaad Foundation handed over 200 pairs of school shoes, 50 backpacks, stationery, lunch packs, and tables and chairs for the Grade R class at Easter Peak Primary School in Manenberg, last Thursday.

The foundation also handed over another 200 pairs of school shoes to Saambou Primary School in Manenberg on the same day.

Yusuf Rajah, from Al-Imdaad, said the drive was part of their foundation’s national initiative. The two schools were identified with the help of Ward 46 councillor Aslam Cassiem and representatives from the Western Cape Education Department.

“The reason behind our delay this year is that we asked teachers to identify the children whose parents really cannot afford to buy them school shoes. Easter Peak had the need for tables and chairs as well. Our donations depend on the needs of the individual schools. So far, we have distributed about 1 300 school shoes and 600 backpacks this year,” Mr Rajah said.

Ebrahim Joseph, principal of Easter Peak, said that when the school year started, many pupils wore slip slops or worn-out school shoes.

“Many of our parents approached me to say that they will only get paid by the end of February. There are also many who lost their jobs because of the impact of Covid-19. We have to be humane. A drive like this is fantastic. It helps with the children’s self esteem and is really a morale booster. We try to do what we can, but we can’t do it alone. We are so grateful to Al-Imdaad. They could have chosen any other school. We appreciate their efforts very much,” Mr Joseph said.

Mr Cassiem said he often networked with organisations and businesses “to leverage support and use it for the benefit of the community”.

“We can’t undo the past, but we need to redress it. For us to have strong communities and families, we need the best resources and quality of education, so that one day our children have a chance to access the best opportunities in South Africa. I believe this will equip families, and the resources will definitely empower them.”

Ward 46 councillor Aslam Cassiem helps a child fit on his new school shoes.