Upgrade to school brings joy to pupils

IT WAS all smiles at Gertrude Shope Primary in Port Elizabeth this week when Ackermans pitched in to help renovate the school.

The retail giant, which runs the "Ububele" project, approached the school after seeing it was in dire need of some tender loving care.

And it was indeed a case of "Ububele", which means kindness and generosity, when Ackermans arrived at the Govan Mbeki township school to help.

With funding from Ackermans head office, 12 staff members made it their mission to make a significant difference in just 24 hours.

"Today has been extremely hectic for us, we've been running around all morning to get all the little things done but it will definitely be worth it at the end.

"We took one day's leave from work so our fingers are crossed that we'll complete all renovations today," store manager Valencia Jacobs said.

With the upgrades, the schools littlest scholars, the grade Rs, will enjoy brand-new swings and a jungle gym.

Classrooms have received new burglar bars as well as painted ceilings and walls. New curtains, doors and tables have been installed and new toilet facilities are now available.

After attending an Ackermans management conference in Johannesburg last year, Jacobs was given the opportunity to choose any facility for renovating purposes and she chose the school.

Principal Nkosinathi Mzuzu said the entire school was excited about the project.

"We are so grateful to Ackermans for choosing our school and for them to care that much that they would do most of the labour themselves.

"It's like they had perfect timing. They came at just the right time. Our school wasn't necessarily struggling but we did not have the necessary funds to do all these renovations," Mzuzu said. - Chanice Koopman