Help alliance in conjunction with Lufthansa Group opened the iThemba Primary School in Capricorn near Cape Town this week.
Around 105 children can be taught in three classes, but once all the construction is complete, 700 disadvantaged girls and boys will receive a high-quality education and the chance at having a better future. The primary school has been approved by the South African Ministry of Education and is recognised and financed by the state. The provincial government provides the land and the operational costs are borne by the Western Cape Education Department.
However, the area is still home to more than 2,500 children without a place in schools. Carsten Spohr, chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and his wife, Vivian Spohr, opened the school and were excited at offering these young children a first class education.
“It is a dream come true not only for the many people who have worked tirelessly for the project, but the children and families who will be impacted by the education provided. The girls and boys attending iThemba now have a new opportunity to achieve their dreams," she said.
For more than ten years now, help alliance has been involved with the children in the township and has been supporting the iThemba Pre-School. Currently, 85 children between the ages of three and six are being cared for. In addition to qualified English lessons, they are taught social skills. With the construction of the iThemba Primary School, help alliance is now taking the next step and significantly expanding its commitment with a clear focus on the Sustainable Development Goal “Quality Education” of the United Nations Agenda 2030.
Susanne French, help alliance project manager for iThemba and Lufthansa Purser, said they have just completed phase one.
"Our goal is to build a community college for the whole family, because we have a holistic approach. The project is building towards offering evening classes and sports for young people. It is precisely this age group that is particularly at risk. We want and must show young people an alternative lifestyle to gang violence, drugs and alcohol. For this we need many more donations, of course," she said.