The Schools Fund supports school learners in attending their schools through provision of uniforms, transport and occasionally food parcels.
The Schools System in South Africa is still extremely polarised with some of the best examples of schooling in the world operating within previous 'Model C' schools whilst the majority of 'township' schools are in a state of terrible disrepair, with lessons interrupted by rain and wind, have no facilities other than blackboards and desks, and often teach without the relevant textbook!
Additionally Learners often come to school hungry due to real and absolute poverty in their households.
In 2011 the Government introduced a school feeding scheme for these schools which means that all Learners receive at least one nutritious meal per school day. The schools were also re-categorised as non fee paying. HABandBF assistance therefore moved from the payment of school fees (+ R200-R400 per annum) to buying uniforms. Learners are not allowed to attend school without the correct uniform.
Rosemary Dickinson runs the Schools Fund and has done so for 10 years. She has built up an excellent relationship with 26 schools. The schools identify those Learners who need help in terms of uniforms and transport. Rosemary visits the families in their homes to ensure that the need is real and also to build relationships with them.
Latest news (May 2015): Playing It Forward! HABandBF Alumni making a difference at Khabazela High School
Click on link for report: Khabazela High School
LATEST REPORT: 2014
HILLCREST ADVICE BUREAU & BURSARY FUND - SCHOOL PROGRAMME
SOLON FOUNDATION - 2014 FIRST PROGRESS REPORT
When the HAB&BF opened in the second week in January we received several requests for school uniforms. Detailed below are typical cases:
Siyanda Msomi is 15 and lives with his granny as his mother has passed away. His father is diabetic, has fits and is HIV positive and on ARV treatment and is trying to renew his disability grant. Siyanda attends uKhanya iAfrica School in Molweni – a school which until now has been unknown to us.
Juliette Simbine – a 62 year old Gran has had a stroke and the left side of her body has been affected and disabled. She used to sell vegetables but is unable to do so now with her disability. She has 4 children in her care and visited us with her youngest granddaughter, Zanda who is 2 years old, spoke beautiful English and was a delightful captivating little girl. Her Mother gets drunk and has run away. We were able to help Juliette with uniforms for the other 3 children, 2 of whom attend Umzamo Primary School. We were warmly received by Mrs Sewpersadh who asked kindly about all at the Solon Foundation.
Lungisile Khwela, the Social Development Services worker requested uniforms for some of the very poor children in her Ward, which we supplied. To date we have fitted uniforms on learners in the following schools: Siyajabula, Umzamo, Khabazela, Khanyakhwezi, Hlahlindlela, Gwadu Zenex, Kwabazothini, Laboure and Inhlangano. Pam Tyler joined Rosemary on some of the visits which made the task much easier and so enjoyable and we look forward to working with her in the future.
One of the problems which we face is in the sizing and in future , especially in the High Schools, we are going to request measurements ie across the shoulders and perhaps a foot outline. The other problem is that we get requests then when we deliver we find that some of the uniform being worn is perfectly good. Obviously we then find other needy recipients to replace them. Fitting the shoes is a little like Cinderella and finding the right foot for the particular shoe!
Pinetown Bargain Bazaar have given us good prices and have been friendly and accommodating with all the returns.
We have paid transport costs for Thandeka Ngema at Zimela Centre for the Mentally and Physically Challenged and were thrilled to get a big smile and a hug from Thandeka when we visited the school.
Request for Food Parcels are never ending and we helped one of the tertiary students and a couple of children at Vusumuzi School.
Once again we are indebted to the Solon Foundation for their continued support and thank you for your donation and thus making this service possible. The Principal from Khanyakhwezi Primary School, Mrs Pam Sithole, said ‘Having a new uniform gives a child self worth and often improves their school work and behaviour’. We like to believe that we are making a difference, no matter how small.
Rosemary Dickinson School Administrator