Durban – The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Hands of Compassion (HoC) will be donating 60 pairs of school shoes to three primary schools in Nkandla, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The schools that will receive the donations are Qhudeni Primary School, Manyane Primary School and Macala Primary, all in Nkandla. DUT will visit the schools to hand out the shoes, starting on Thursday.
The institution said its Hands of Compassion team, made up of staff from the DUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research Innovation and Engagement office, DUT Library, and the Marketing, Public Relations and Events units, collected the brand-new pairs of shoes during their Adopt-A-Child for the School Shoes Donation Drive, which began in February.
DUT’s engagement practitioner, Phumzile Xulu, said the 60 pairs of shoes would be given to the most vulnerable pupils, who had been selected by their schools.
Xulu said she appreciated the DUT community for showing compassion, which was one of the values and principles of the university enshrined in the Envision2030 strategy.
She said they felt a need to involve the DUT community in the donation of school shoes to uplift rural schools.
“We as the DUT HoC team discussed how the DUT community can assist these learners, and the idea for the call for donations was developed and shared with the DUT Community. DUT staff members often visit rural schools for various engagements, and we are made aware of the various resources that rural schools are in need of,” Xulu said.
“Although we can’t tackle all of the issues at once, we decided that trying to restore the dignity of the learners and giving them access to school shoes was a start. As an engaged university, we have the responsibility to be active citizens that respond to the needs of society.”
Xulu said the main goal of the initiative was to improve the lives of these pupils in a small way.
She said with any drive such as this one, the biggest challenge was gathering sufficient donations as the need was so great.
DUT said uMzinto Primary School in Eastern Cape would also receive a visit this week, when 50 pairs of school shoes would be handed to pupils in grades 1 to 7.