SAPS members and representatives of Habash distribute bags and stationery to learners at Lesedi Secondary School. Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - A brighter uniform that is not tearing at the seams and a school bag with a working zip gives a learner pride and confidence in their endeavours as they return to the classroom to start the 2020 academic year.

This is according to Kutlwano Zimu, a Grade 11 Lesedi Secondary School learner and one of the recipients of a Back-to-School pack consisting of a new uniform and a backpack with a stationery set.

The handover formed part of the Adopt-A-Cop school project. It sees police stations adopt schools in the form of holding regular talks on safety, crime and self-defence demonstrations, among others, while tracking their progress.

In a bid to assist learners in need and create a bigger impact, Habash Community and the SAPS identified three schools in the east for underprivileged learners to assist with uniforms and stationery. The recipients were from Kutumela Molefi Primary, Lesedi Secondary and Laezonia Primary schools.

Habash Community - an Ethopian-Eritrean organisation which does philanthropic work - partnered with the SAPS to donate the necessities.

Eskedar Melisew, chairperson of Habash Community, said the organisation had partnered with the SAPS in different projects such as building a disability centre in Hammanskraal and were now investing in the education of children. They showed support for the less privileged.

“We engage in different activities, and we just felt it was necessary to identify schools and invest in the learners’ future, support them and give them hope. Maybe this will spark a fire that can create a bigger change in them and the country.”

Kutlwano Zimu, a learner leader at Lesedi Secondary School for 2020, said she was grateful their school was identified and they received new uniforms. “I come from an underprivileged community and family; our dreams have never really been valid, so seeing recognition for us this year fills me with hope. The tables are turning and the black child is being taken into consideration.

“I thank SAPS and Habash Community because I know there are more children who will stand confidently and boldly knowing they have a clean bright set of uniforms and stationery. We will sleep peacefully knowing black learners have been secured, recognised and equipped to shape their future.”

School principal Simon Mojapelo said they were grateful and humbled.

“The community we are serving is not a well-to-do community and most learners cannot afford a new uniform.”

Addressing the learners, SAPS General Daniel Mthombeni encouraged them not to look at current circumstances as the be-all and end-all.

“We are adopting various schools, visiting them regularly and grooming them to be disciplined citizens.”

Pretoria News