The recent political unrest in the country has put South Africa and its communities on high alert in certain regions of our country – and all the while, Covid-19 is not relenting. The recent easing off of restrictions has certainly helped with our economic recovery, but schools and other institutions are still highly affected.
The pandemic, in other words, is still a crisis. There is general consensus that, in the midst of it all, schools have to return to full function – thus opening us up to the risk of another surge in infections. This weekend, the Department of Social Development, in partnership with Old Mutual Foundation, Afrika Tikkun, Omo and National Lotteries, continued their schools’ PPE campaign, handing out PPE and other necessities to 250 learners and their teachers at the offices of Afrika Tikkun in Gauteng. This brings the total number of learners protected with PPE to 80 250, with 801 schools reached.
Old Mutual Foundation’s Ms Fikile Kuhlase spoke about the impact that their partnership with the Department of Social Development has had on Old Mutual, and of the sad passing, Ikosi Mahlangu, who passed on from Covid-19 related complications. In honour of Ikosi, Old Mutual is committed to continuing the partnership programme until as many communities as possible have been reached.
A spokesperson from the Department of Social Development spoke of the great work being carried out by Afrika Tikkun in supporting children from cradle to career. The Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hon. Henreitta Bogopane-Zulu, also thanked Omo and the National Lotteries Commission for the role they have played in assisting schools and communities during the pandemic.
The event, held on a Saturday, was a fun occasion for the children who attended; they all wore creative hats for the day, partly to mask their faces to demonstrate the issue of privacy in light of the POPI Act. Afrika Tikkun were their gracious and generous hosts for the day. Afrika Tikkun runs a comprehensive programme supporting children from their earliest years right though to their graduation from tertiary education. They were highly commended for the work they do, with the Deputy Minister identifying them as a real ‘pillar’ in their five-year partnership.