Dr Sedick du Toit, the principle at Litha Primary School in Gugulethu, has drawn attention to the plight of his 685 pupils when he shared pictures of their broken school shoes on Facebook under the words: “So this is what poverty looks like.”
Du Toit told IOL: “Those pictures represent the reality of poverty that my children experience every day. How can they learn if they are not comfortable, warm and dignified?
“These children want to learn and have achieved a high level of academic success. You cannot teach a hungry child and by the same token, you cannot teach one that has not got at least a basic level of clothing, comfort and dignity.”
The Facebook post prompted donations from friends and former pupils, but more is needed.
The principal says any donations of new and good quality used uniforms are also welcome, such as white shirts, grey socks, white socks, vests, grey shorts and black jerseys.
He says he will accept donations at home and at his school or will collect if the size of the donation warrants it.
He says running a school where pupils don’t have the basics others take for granted is hugely challenging, yet very rewarding.
“The children appreciate everything I manage to get them and take nothing for granted. We have a very low absentee rate because if many of them do not come to school, they will not eat for the day,” he adds.
Contact Dr. Du Toit at [email protected]