The value of a backpack for SA schoolkids

by Lwazi Nongauza, Activate

The Freedom Charter declared that ”The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened”. It went on to say “Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children; Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit…All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands.  The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace.”

50 years later, the social systematic injustices parts of that treasured documents still remain a national wish list.

To address those injustices, a Johannesburg based social entrepreneur and Activator Xolane Voro Da-Viruz Ngobozana in partnership with Nqobile Katlego Enterprise have launched a campaign called “donate a school bag”.

The initiative is meant to raise more than 10000 School Bags and Donate them to more than 50 School across South Africa and help poor children in South Africa.

Ngobozana explain the logic behind “Donate a School Bag” campaign. “One morning I decided to walk to the train station, along the way I notice that lot of learners carry their books with a plastic and when I engage with their say that their parents can’t afford to buy those school bags (Back Pack). And it really touched me so when I was in the train heading to Johannesburg, this initiative came to my mind “Donate a School Bag”. said Ngobozana

“It was heart breaking to see vulnerable kids carrying their books with plastics and sometimes they get grounded from school because they don’t have or ‘lost’ the only pen, pencil or writing pad they have for the whole year. They not only have to go through this mental trauma, but some of them end up dropping out of school completely and the cycle of poverty regenerates all over again. The majority of this family survives through the grant money so the parents can hardly afford to buy basic school material for their children. Clearly, the need is great and we recognize that not all of these challenges can be solved at once. That’s why ‘Team Virus’ has accepted the challenge and has initiated.” he emphases

The project’s aim is to raise 10000 school bags and donate them to more than 50 schools in South Africa. Each schoolbag will be filled with stationery, learning resources that will enable a child to write, draw, color, calculate, so they can express themselves and above all learn. We also hope to assist some additional treats. This is done with a hope that new school bags, material and books for students to fight the poverty overwhelming child poverty rates.

According to Ngobozana, low-income areas of South Africa, school supplies are a luxury. Most of the young children in these areas are presented with small bag of limited, mismatched school supplies. The simple content of “DONATE a SCHOOL BAG” has the power to transform a child’s life – the very Bag you donate could help to create a future doctor, politician, humanitarian, or even your future colleague.