President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe. File picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe. File picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe urges South Africans to help the poor

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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PRETORIA - First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe on Wednesday appealed to South Africans to intervene and help communities in need and schools.

She highlighted that many schools and children in South Africa’s townships face numerous socio-economic challenges which are mainly rooted in the injustices of South Africa’s past.

She made the remarks in Thembisa, Gauteng, where she officiated at the unveiling of the second phase of a newly renovated block of classrooms by the Pink Forum, and the My Walk My School initiative’s school shoe handover at the Khatlamping Primary School in Thembisa.

“I am honoured to be returning to this school today and to be part of this noble venture. A helping hand can surely make a significant difference; a helping hand touches and can change lives,” said Motsepe.

“I was here last year when the Pink Forum, working with the school and other stakeholders, launched the Pink Classrooms, as well as the vegetable garden we saw earlier as part of promoting food security in this community.”

The My Walk My School initiative is run by the Pink Forum project, a youth-centred non-profit based in Thembisa and Kempton Park in partnership with Netcare and Adcock Ingram Critical Care.

Motsepe said the unveiling of the newly renovated Pink Classrooms marked the second phase after the other classrooms were launched last year.

“I do believe and hope that they will be of great assistance to the children of this community. I am grateful to see all the familiar faces, as I am also excited to see new ones. Just like the name of this township, ’Thembisa’, this progress inspires confidence and hope that the children of this school community will be supported to succeed,” she said.

“I wish to express how proud I am of the founder of the Pink Forum, Ms Mandisa Jiyane, a young person who is championing development for other young and disadvantaged people. Through her activism she is shining a spotlight on pressing challenges that require intervention.”

She appealed for help for schools, especially those in the rural areas and townships.

“There is great value in assisting our schools, because education is one of the key vehicles on which many rely to drive change and development, not only for their lives but those of their families and communities,” she said.

“Supporting schools and needy children with all the support they require shows just how much we value our national assets. It shows that we care about the future of our country. There should be no child going to school without shoes. There should be no child who is hungry for education sitting in class with an empty stomach.”

For the school shoes donation, Motsepe applauded Netcare and Adcock Ingram, Waltons and Bidvest for collaborating with the Pink Forum to make the handover possible.

“It is no cliché that it takes a village to raise a child.

“It takes NGOs and individuals like Mandisa, it takes committed teachers and involved and supportive parents, and it takes corporates like Netcare, Adcock Ingram, Waltons and Bidvest, working alongside government,” she said.

“I would like to applaud Netcare and Adcock Ingram for the hand of help that they have brought to the children of Khatlamping by donating school shoes. It is most extraordinary, as I have been told, that these durable school shoes are made from PVC material used in the manufacture of medical supplies.”

Motsepe undertook the public engagement on Wednesday in her capacity as patron of the South African Civil Society for Women’s, Adolescents’ and Children’s Health (SACSoWACH).

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