Late former president, Nelson Mandela, held the wellbeing of children close to his heart, saying: “Our children are our greatest treasure”.
In keeping with his belief and to honour his legacy, Bata South Africa is celebrating Mandela Day throughout the month of July, donating more than 1000 pairs of quality school shoes to children in need, in collaboration with several charities around the country.
Bata South Africa Managing Director, Michael Wyatt, said: “This Mandela Day, we are ensuring that our efforts go towards uplifting children, by gifting them with school shoes that will help make their learning journey that much more comfortable. Our children are our future leaders, and it is our responsibility to play a role in making sure they have a solid educational foundation in every aspect. This is how Bata has chosen to respond to the Mandela Day 2022 theme of ‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are’.”
In the first of many donations, Bata South Africa joined forces with leading commercial broadcaster, Gagasi FM, and gifted 200 learners from the Dawede Primary School in Molweni with brand new school shoes. The children – many visiting the heart of Durban for the very first time – were also treated to a fun day out at one of KZN’s top attractions, uShaka Marine World, where they visited the aquarium and enjoyed a dolphin show.
Dawede Primary School was one of the schools damaged in the recent KZN floods, leaving some learners at the school without classrooms.
Dawede Primary School teacher, Khanyi Mkhwanazi, said, “Our learners were so excited at their special Mandela Day. They love their school shoes. This donation will help the parents with school supplies as many of them are unemployed. Thank you, Bata.”
In Cape Town, 240 youth, part of the non-profit Salesian Institute Youth Projects which works to educate at-risk youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, were gifted with new school shoes as part of a fun day with Cape Town’s Heart FM. They also received a hearty meal from Heart FM’s celebrity chef Jenny Morris, known affectionately as ‘The Giggling Gourmet’.
And in another major donation, 500 pairs of school shoes will be donated to learners from Lockhat High School in Verulam, outside of Durban.
More than 200 more pairs of shoes will head to other non-profit organisations and schools throughout the month including the Themba Nkosi Foundation, Heal the World Foundation, Hlumani High School in Komga, East London, and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Nombuso Ncapai, Bata Marketing Manager said: “At Bata, we are committed to nurturing the wellbeing of our future generation, and equipping learners with the tools to reach their full potential, through our Bata Children’s Programme. Mandela was so passionate about children and education, and these are the same values we live by at Bata.”