Ephangweni Primary School gets Mandela Day present

Pupils at Ephangweni Primary School, Loskop, celebrate after receiving a library through the Mandela Day library programme. (Image: Mandela Day Libraries)

Loskop, KwaZulu-Natal, is off the beaten track and close to the magnificent foothills of the Drakensberg. This is where 586 children are taught at Ephangweni Primary School.

Now hundreds of Zulu early-learning readers and other books are in the school library, ready to be pored over. This is after the school received a library on 7 September 2017 through the Mandela Day school library project.

Principal Vusi Radebe and his team welcomed the library, made possible through donations from Old Mutual Insure, the Participate for Good campaign and the Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain-bike race.

The library was officially opened by Mr Radebe and representatives of the local community, the Department of Basic Education and the Long Walk to Freedom Mandela Bangle programme.

Each child also received a backpack containing school items and chocolates from Old Mutual Insure, putting smiles on faces.

The sports coach wasn’t left out and received a batch of soccer balls, to the delight of many aspiring Peles.

The library donation included new soccer balls. (Image: Mandela Day Libraries)

The handover was a significant affair, with poetry, singing and a special dance that delighted all the guests. Ephangweni will join the Soul Buddyz Club project, a partnership between the Soul City Institute for Health and Development and SABC Education, and supported by the Department of Basic Education.

It is hoped literacy will improve by at least 20% at the school in the next two years through the programme.

Robert Coutts, CEO of the Long Walk to Freedom Mandela Bangle programme, delivered the message that a “hand up in life is better than a handout”. He said the library is a big step towards literacy, which is the first step to education and realising the possibilities in every child.

The day ended with a delicious lunch prepared by the school governing body and parents.

A big thanks to sponsors Old Mutual Insure, Old Mutual joBerg2c, the Soul City Soul Buddyz Club project, the Department of Basic Education, Quali-Naledi, the Mandela Bangle programme and Rotary International for yet another library successfully delivered.