THE Rotary Club of Arcadia, partnered with the Rotary Club of Northampton Becket has once again aided under-resourced primary schools in and around East London with the Classroom Box project.
Started by the Rotary Club of Northampton Becket, England in 2006, the project aims to provide needy primary schools with stationary supplies on a yearly basis.
“At the beginning the stationary materials were purchased locally and then shipped to East London, as well as Lilongwe, Malawi,” said Rotary Northampton Becket member and founder of the project, Ian Hill.
The Rotary Clubs of Arcadia, East London and Lilongwe, Malawi then distribute the stationary supplies to under-resourced, needy schools in their areas.
“My brother grew up in South Africa, he understands that there is a great need and wants to help as much as he can. He has a real feeling for South Africa,” said Rotary Ann and head of the Classroom Box project in East London, Pat Hill.
Later on in 2012, the Shoprite-Checkers group become involved in the project and not only offered to support the project, by supplying the items at cost, but also offered to provide free transport of the stationary materials to the final destinations.
The first shipments were delivered in 2013. Since then there have been yearly shipments and more than 50000 pupils have benefited from the project.
“The success of the Classroom Box Project over the last five years, would not have been achieved without the wonderful support of Shoprite Checkers, and their staff. We are extremely grateful for their help,” said Ian.
In the last two weeks (SUBS: 15-25 May), Rotary Arcadia have been distributing the stationary supplies to seven schools in and around the city. Parkside, President and Thoboshana Primary schools are among those who received stationary donations via the Project recently.
Other schools that received donations include Ferndale Primary in Morgan’s Bay and Mpongo Primary in Maclear Town.
“We identify and donate to under-resourced but well run primary schools. In this way we ensure that the supplies are going to be used well and the children will benefit,” said Pat.
“I am very passionate about education and these children are so hungry to learn. There are kids who walk kilometres every day in tattered shoes, kids who have very little. Their faces just light up when they receive books or pens and pencils,” said Pat.
“Despite the money being pumped into the education system by the Department of Education, we’re not seeing the results, so we have to do whatever we can to help and improve the status of education, especially in our province.”