gifts for poor khangela pupils

KHANGELA Primary School in Botleng township in Delmas, Mpumalanga, is a beacon of hope in this arid township.

KHANGELA Primary School in Botleng township in Delmas, Mpumalanga, is a beacon of hope in this arid township.

The township has only one major factory, a famous food outlet, and a few struggling small businesses.

About 70 percent of the working population is unemployed, another 10 percent work in the informal sector, and the rest are farmworkers.

More than half the population depends on social grants. There are a lot of single-parent families and households run by grandmothers.

Mama Angel recently donated kitchen utensils, pots, plates, and soup mixes, which were accepted by school principal Mandla Maseko.

On a previous visit Sowetan was impressed by the progressive school, which was having a year-end function to honour the best pupils.

Khangela has neat buildings, though not new. It also has flower gardens and well- defined paths. The staff interact well with the school governing body under the chairmanship of Mr Jiyane.

Maseko said: "We have 720 children on the food programme. The school-based support team, which is made up of the teachers, investigates the circumstances of the pupils and pay home visits.

"They also collect and distribute second-hand clothing to the children.

"We try in every possible way to look after pupils because this is a very poor area."

He said the school's main fund-raising item was to hire out the classrooms to independent churches on Sundays. The rent money was used to supplement the government's food package of maize, samp, rice and soya.

"We have a vegetable garden that is tended by the pupils themselves. Unfortunately, we need all that we produce for the children and cannot sell any to make money," Maseko said.

The school has 1046 pupils.

The feeding scheme has three helpers who receive a stipend from the government.

"We have been classified as a Quintile 3 School (a school the pupils of which should pay school fees) by the education department. But owing to poverty most parents cannot afford the R50 annual fees.

"We thank the Sowetan for the donation, which will go a long way to helping us look after our pupils. The feeding scheme has helped us to raise our pass rate to 97percent."