It was a joyful day for more than 500 pupils at various rural schools in KwaZulu-Natal when they were provided with full school uniforms by Ithala’s social investment unit.
The Abantwana Bethu or “Our Children” campaign aims to promote a positive learning environment, either through financial support or the sponsorship of essential school supplies.
In the picture: It was all smiles at the hand over of school uniforms for needy children of Zamukwazi Primary School in Hlatikulu recently. (From left): AbaMbo Traditional Council members Inkosi Sibonelo Mkhize and Sakhile Shabangu, school principal Lungile Mvelase and Ithala’s Sitandiwe Dimba, Thuli Galelekile and Sibusisiwe Mazibuko.
Nurturing and education
“This year we decided to provide uniforms- the full kit from tunics and trousers to shirts, socks shoes and jersey’s – to pupils in schools in Nkandla, Hlatikhulu, Manguzi, Bulwer and Msinga,” said Ithala’s Sitandiwe Dimba.
“The future of the country is in the hands of our children and grandchildren. Therefore, our first priority should be the nurturing and education,” she said.
“Research has shown that school uniforms form an important part of education. It not only identifies a pupil as being from a school and provides a sense of identity, it also teaches children to dress smartly and to be proud of their appearance. This is important for when youth enter the workplace.”
Engaged with Amakhosi
The schools were identified by Ithala’s branch managers in its network of branches, working in partnership with its CSI unit.
An important part of the Abantwana Bethu initiative is the strategic partnerships the organisation has developed with various rural communities.
“We have engaged with the Amakhosi and traditional councils in the various areas and the uniforms for the Zamukwazi Primary School in Hlatikulu were handed over to the AbaMbo Traditional Council leaders. This speaks directly to Ithala’s recognition of the role that the Amakhosi and traditional leadership play in communities,” said Dimba.
“Many companies have approached us with beautiful promises, but only Ithala has delivered and kept to their mandate for development. This shows that Ithala is an organisation that cares about its people,” said Inkosi Sibonelo Mkhize at a ceremony in which the uniforms were handed over to the AbaMbo Traditional Council.