Many Helenvale pupils receive first pair school shoes they’ve ever owned
Bayview Primary School pupils struggled to contain their excitement when 10 crates of shoes donated by Little Slipper Factory shop were handed out at a special assembly.
The primary school is based in Helenvale, a community faced by multiple socio-economic challenges.
The donation came about after Bayview Primary School principal Tyronne Johannes and Royal Life Ministries of South Africa apostle Gregory Leen identified that many pupils did not have school shoes.
The pair then wrote a letter to Little Slipper, requesting a donation of shoes for the needy pupils.
For many pupils, the donated shoes were the first pair of proper school shoes they have ever owned.
“Our school is based in a community where unemployment is high.
“Most of the children do not have school shoes and wear boots, sandals or takkies to school, which is why we felt we needed to do something about this.
“With the help of apostle Leen, who also wrote a letter accompanying the school’s [letter], we were able to secure the donation,” Johannes said.
The school received 201pairs of shoes ranging from children’s size nine to six for both boys and girls.
“We did not expect Little Slipper to respond but indeed they responded to our appeal by donating more than we had anticipated. We would have been appreciative of anything they were willing to give.
“We most certainly did not expect such a big donation.
“Through them we were able to give 201 children brand new shoes, which when calculated, amounts to nearly R20 000,” he said.
Bayview Primary deputy principal Belinda Andre also expressed her gratitude to Little Slipper for the generous donation, which she said would make a big difference in the lives of pupils.
“As teachers, we always try to make a difference in a child’s life. As small as this shoe gesture may seem, it will always live in the memory of these children,” Andre said.
Keethan Damons, six, said receiving a pair of school shoes was the best gift he had ever received and he was very thankful Little Slipper had chosen to help pupils at his school.
Mickayla Koeberg, 10, said she was very proud to receive new shoes.
Michelle Muller, 10, said: “It made my heart sore not to have shoes but now I am happy.
“At least these are brand new and are going to last longer.”
A Little Slipper representative, who did not want to be named, said: “We donated to Bayview Primary School because a number of our employees reside in the Helenvale area and for us to be recognised as a leading shoe factory, it is through the hard work of these employees.
“Therefore as a company, we felt we owed it to the community of Helenvale to give back to them.”