Supporting the traumatised

Mthetho Ndoni

Mthetho Ndoni

Going to school can be extremely traumatic for poverty-stricken children, especially orphans.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has boosted the chances of some of these children of being better equipped.

About 200 pupils whose parents have died of Aids received uniforms, clothes, stationery and school bags.

The Back to School Aids Orphan Project was initiated by the municipality in partnership with private partners.

Funds were donated by councillors and municipal employees as well as the private sector.

The school uniforms and stationery were presented to the children by Nelson Mandela Bay's mayor, Nondumiso Maphazi.

She said children throughout the world lived in an HIV-Aids infected and affected environment.

"We don't give you these uniforms because we want to, but because we need you to be our future leaders," Maphazi said.

She urged parents and teachers to forge a bond with the children and work together with the municipality.

She promised that the municipality would monitor the process of delivering books and nutrition to needy schools.

"There is no use giving out school uniforms to these children while they have empty stomachs," said Maphazi, who called for the resumption of the primary school nutrition programme.

The mayor donated R5000 towards HIV-Aids programmes.

Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Nomsa Swartz said the Back to School Aids Orphans Project will generate tomorrow's leaders, which is the reason these children deserved love and care.

"Every child feels excited to go to school, but there are those who don't feel that excitement because of the circumstances of not having parents," she said.