Liesl Ah Shene
THE three-year dream of starting a school in the impoverished area of Malabar Extension 6 has finally come true for modelling company RoleModels SA.
Despite all the hurdles, including theft, fires and vandalism, RoleModels SA has pushed through and as co-owner Juanita Smit says, “You never give up on your dream”.
While most children who are in Grade R or Grade 1 know their A, B, Cs, which colour is which, and how to write their name, most of the children in Malabar Extension 6 can’t.
RoleModels SA with their Imfundo pre-school hopes that this school will help bridge the gap in education for these children and prepare them for when they start attending school.
During the next five weeks, the school will be open two hours a day between 10am and noon. During this time they plan to do lessons to teach the children basic skills like reading, listening, drawing and writing.
Smit said they hope to find more volunteers to help out with the children during class time.
“We need people to donate their time to just come and read to the children and maybe colour and paint with them,” she said.
Children will also learn other things like the importance of respect and basic hygiene.
Each child’s family unit was to receive a care package, including hygiene products like soap, toothpaste and towels.
Smit stressed the importance of each child coming to school neat and tidy and that the school was not to for children who are currently at another school but for those between four and six who have not been to school as yet.
Following the theft at the school before it even opened its doors, she appealed to the community to take care of the school.
“The school is here for you. This is your school, it does not belong to us,” she said.
Smit’s husband, Alwyn, said he hoped the school would be successful and that the children who started here this month, would return in years to come and show their children the school they once attended.