Pupils get school shoes

Grade 1 pupil Jaleel van Vuuren gives the provincial legislature speaker, Masizole Mnqasela, a “high five” just before the speaker washed his feet.

Pupils at EA Janari Primary School in Bonteheuwel were among the 120 at three schools who received new school shoes from provincial legislature speaker Masizole Mnqasela.

The initiative was a collaboration with Youth4Life SA as part of the Shoes of Hope programme.

On Tuesday November 17 and Wednesday November 18, Mr Mnqasela handed over 40 pairs of school shoes each at Avian Park in Worcester, H Venter in Ashton, and E A Janari in Bonteheuwel.

The principal at E A Janari, Anthony Cloete, said the need was great at his school.

“This is a great initiative and most appreciated. Many of our children come from social welfare challenges so there is always a need,” Mr Cloete said.

Mr Mnqasela was joined by Ward 50 councillor Angus McKenzie and other volunteers who washed the recipients’ feet.

According to a provincial legislature statement, Shoes of Hope is about connecting with children and giving them hope.

“This is why those distributing the shoes wash each child’s feet before putting the shoes on them,” it said.

Since the start of the collaboration with Youth4Life SA and Shoes of Hope, Mr Mnqasela has participated in the distribution of over 1 150 pairs of school shoes to children at crèches, and primary and high schools across the province.

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on the whole of society, but particularly on our poorer communities.

The loss of income experienced by many has resulted in such things as school shoes simply not being affordable. Through this project, needy learners are assisted with these basic requirements,” he said.