Saturday, 20 February 2021 19:27

Staff Reporter.

98 learners from Roodewal Primary can now walk into their school with pride, thanks to a donation of shoes from The Golden Valley Casino.

Concerned teachers approached The Golden Valley about the plight of learners who are sometimes forced to go to school hungry and barefoot, because of the hardships they and their families face.

Speaking about the donation, The Golden Valley’s General Manager Keenan Bergins said, "The school is located in an area known for gangs and crime and the impact on children living there cannot be overstated. We had initially decided to donate 50 pairs of shoes but when we realized how many more children were in need, we increased the number. Seeing the joy on the faces of children whose parents battle to provide them with food, let alone shoes, was very humbling.

"We applaud the commitment of teachers at the school for actively getting involved in the development of their learners, and for consciously looking for ways in which to make a difference for them."

Meanwhile GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World in Cape Town has adopted Valhalla Secondary School’s feeding initiative for the 2021 academic year, also contributing towards building and equipping a new kitchen facility.

The socio-economic development initiative is in partnership with the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA), which addresses hunger in underprivileged young learners and students attending educational institutions through school feeding and other developmental initiatives with the aim of improving school attendance.

"We have provided Valhalla Secondary in Elsie’s River with R74 250 to ensure that 165 learners on the school feeding programme are provided with daily nutritious meals, as well as R200 000 towards supplying and installing a pre-fabricated kitchen," said GrandWest General Manager, Mervyn Naidoo. "Due to Covid-19 and the downturn of the economy, there are so many more learners are needing nutrition at schools and GrandWest is pleased to be able to feed hungry young mouths."

The 20m² prefabricated structure is wind and airtight and will be fitted with a double sink, stainless steel worktops and windows with burglar proofing which doubles as a serving hatch. An extractor fan, hot water and gas will be connected, and the required firefighting equipment installed in case of fire.

The school previously used the Consumer Studies classroom as a kitchen but would now be able to reintroduce this as a subject, should a teacher be hired.

Valhalla Secondary principal Mr Martin Lesch, said the learners and teachers were grateful to GrandWest and PSFA for their assistance. "Having this dedicated space will allow us to continue and expand upon our much-needed feeding programme. Learners cannot be expected to sit at their desks and concentrate on their books when their stomachs are empty, so this donation is truly one which contributes towards the future of our country, by helping to develop the next generation of leaders."