Pretoria – To reintegrate the communities, a group of 25 volunteers took the time yesterday to cover 400 textbooks for some learners in Soshanguve.
Under the #ThusaNgwanaGeno (help your brothers) banner, the group gathered at Mathaga Primary School in the township before schools reopened in two weeks.
The mastermind behind the initiative Dr John Molepo said: “Normally we would do this when the learners are back to school so that we can teach them to cover their books as well, but because of Covid-19 we have had to readjust. “
Molepo – an activist and lecturer at the University of Mpumalanga – said the idea behind the initiative was to create uniformity in schools by ensuring that there was no distinction between learners from of rich and poor families.
“We also wanted to reduce the financial burden on parents,” he said.
Thanks to the #ThusaNgwanaGeno initiative, some students in higher education institutions were previously helped to obtain their driving license.
“We have also helped university students with tuition fees, exceptional fees and registration fees,” Molepo said.
He praised the people who made charity work possible by opening their hearts and purses to help the needy.
“There is a motivation from an African proverb that goes, ‘If you want to go fast go alone, and if you want to go far go together.” I am a person who believes in collectivism, no matter what you do, you have to go back to your community, especially where you grew up, ”Molepo said.
Molepo, 31, attended primary school in Mathaga and was the youngest to have a PhD in public affairs awarded to him at Tshwane University of Technology in 2019.
The same year, President Cyril Ramaphosa recognized Molepo’s activism, honoring the young scholar with a presidential award in the category of compassion for “the immense value of his contribution to the community”.
His former teacher, Sally Mothupi, said: “I am glad our former student John Molepo has not forgotten where he came from. I taught him here at Mathaga Primary School.”
She expressed her gratitude to Molepo for helping learners who cannot afford to buy book covers.
“We have challenges for learners who come to school without their books being covered. I am very proud of him and he is a doctor today. This means that we have laid the groundwork. May the good Lord bless him, ”she declared.
One of the volunteers, Duduzile Masombuka, said the initiative grew out of fundraising for college students at road intersections, where motorists donate as little as R5.
“There is a saying that ‘when you look good you feel good and when you feel good you do good.” We believe that if a child has a well-covered school book, it is is a motivation that says “here’s something that’s good in front of you, take care of it and preserve it, then run with it,” Masombuka said.
Five schools in four provinces, which include North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng, will benefit from the textbook coverage initiative.
“For this week, we want to cover 1,600 pounds, and we’re confident we’ll get there,” Masombuka said.
News from Pretoria