Reitumetse Makwea
Digital Intern
2 minute read
19 Jun 2021
5:30 am

School shoes drive helps pupils put best foot forward

Reitumetse Makwea

The annual shoe drive has seen more than 23 000 pupils from over a 100 previously disadvantaged schools receive new school shoes.

Six-year-old Pearl Magoane at Nandi Primary School in Soweto tries on her new school shoes, 18 June 2021, donated as part of Liberty's annual Winter Shoe Drive. Since 2017 the initiative has donated 30 000 pairs of school shoes to underprivileged pupils across South Africa. Picture: Michel Bega

Hundreds of pupils at Nandi Primary School in Diepkloof, Soweto, received much-needed school shoes as part of Liberty’s Winter Shoe Drive.

The annual shoe drive has seen more than 23 000 pupils from over a 100 previously disadvantaged schools receive new school shoes.

While the pupils were overjoyed with their new shoes, sixyear-old Pearl Makgoane said she felt blessed to be one of the chosen ones to get new school shoes.

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“I’m very happy. I love my new school shoes even though they do not fit. I can’t wait to show them off to my friends,” she said.

The pupil said she was also excited about the library that Liberty had donated to the school because it had developed her love for reading.

Head of department of the school Patrick Khupare said the initiative had brought about a huge change and assistance to the pupils because most of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We come from different homes and when most of our pupils come to school you can see from their uniform, especially their shoes, that things are not well at home,” he said.

“Their intention was to donate 1 000 shoes but because their target now was Grade 1 and 2 pupils, they have donated 140 pairs and we are very grateful for that.”

According to Liberty’s Ayanda Dlamini, they had randomly picked schools, depending on the need and disparity of the community around the schools.

“We have a long standing relationship with the school. We have previously renovated their library, donated books and also started a reading initiative to help the pupils read more,” she said.

“During this pandemic, a lot of families have been struggling and as Liberty we wanted to lessen the burden where we can with our different initiatives where we assisted people who needed financial assistance, care-packages, food parcels and school supplies.”

In a statement, Liberty’s representative Nomaxabiso Matjila said the shoes were being distributed to pupils at primary schools in Grade 1 and 2 in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

“We applaud our staff for rolling up their sleeves and giving to those who are less fortunate, especially during this time when the Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain,” Matjila said.

“Liberty’s impact on society is built on the foundation of education because it offers young people the opportunity to participate in the development and growth of our economy.”

Nandi Primary School principal Franse Chiloane said they were very excited about their relationship with Liberty and believe more great things would come out of it.

He also said the initiative is part of a big commitment to ensure positive education outcomes for the leaders of tomorrow.