The Taiwanese embassy in Cape Town has donated stationery to Saambou Primary School in Manenberg.
The embassy’s director-general, David Yintso Lin, and assistant director, William Wang, toured the school with principal Angelo Valentine, on Thursday February 11, before they handed over R2 500 worth of stationery.
Nadia Charles, from Collaboration for Good, approached the embassy after Nawaal Jacobs, a Saambou Primary teacher and member of its fund-raising committee, asked her for help.
Mr Valentine said poverty was getting so bad in the area that teachers were buying necessities for their pupils. He thanked the embassy for the donation, but added that the stationery shortage was just one of several problems the school faced.
“The only programme we are allowed to operate – because of lockdown regulations – is the feeding scheme,” he said. “Under other circumstances, we would host civvies days and have food sales to raise money needed for the school. Usually, we would need to raise R30 000 to meet our budget requirements. This year, however, we are already in a R30 000 deficit at a time when the children were not even at school yet. So we are in need of sponsorship.”
Mr Lin said: “Let’s continue to walk together to promote education so children can have a better tomorrow. We all need to support each other to alleviate poverty.”
Ward 46 councillor, Aslam Cassiem, who also attended the hand-over ceremony, praised the work done by teachers.
“Teaching is not just a job; it is a commitment,” he said. “Some role models are not ideal. Young people at times look up to those who do negative things, but we also have a lot of positive role models though. To me, the ultimate role models are schools, because of the teachers and principals. The best we can do is to support schools.”
He thanked Mr Lin and Mr Wang for visiting the school and expressed his gratitude for the donation.
“I hope the relationship between the school and the embassy can continue, so that we can build bridges,” he said.
Ms Jacobs said the donation would make a big difference in the pupils’ lives as many came from families who could not afford the most basic stationery.
“It is very difficult and heartbreaking for us as teachers, when a child does not even have a pencil to use in class,” she said. “We are so grateful.”