Ford and Gift of the Givers assist school in need

Community members and a school in Komani (formerly Queenstown) in the Eastern Cape are the latest beneficiaries of disaster relief support from Ford and Gift of the Givers Foundation, following torrential rain and extensive flooding experienced in the area during February.

23 Ford School Gift1

With large portions of the town submerged and informal settlements particularly hard hit, Ford South Africa and the Ford Motor Company Fund responded to the appeal by Gift of the Givers for funding to roll out urgent humanitarian aid.

Ford Fund provided a grant of more than R500 000 for the relief efforts, with half the funding earmarked for the distribution of much-needed food parcels, potable water, mattresses, clothing and hygiene packs to affected members of the community.

Once immediate needs were addressed, the focus shifted to assisting St Theresa Primary School in Aloevale, Komani. The school’s toilet facilities had been extensively damaged by the flooding, leaving learners in a dire situation. Recognising the importance of education and learner well-being, Ford and Gift of the Givers decided to use the remaining funds to repair and upgrade the school’s ablution facilities, ensuring the students’ dignity and hygiene were prioritised.

Part of the neat, upgraded ablution facility at the school.

Esther Buthelezi, Transformation and Government Affairs Executive Director at Ford South Africa, praised Gift of the Givers Foundation for its unwavering support in community aid and disaster relief mobilisation.

Badr Kazi, the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Corporate and Government, of the Gift of the Givers, expressed gratitude to Ford South Africa for its continued support: “Investing in the leaders and thinkers of tomorrow – this is the core tenet upon which the relationship of the Gift of the Givers and Ford South Africa is based. A more conducive atmosphere for learners and educators is created by investing in a more dynamic society for tomorrow.”

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Msondezi Bulu (Principal of St Theresa’s Primary School), expressed immense pride in the transformative impact of the project on the school community. “Your invaluable contribution has created a safe learning environment, encouraging every student to thrive.”

Seen here are Msondezi Bulu (Principal) and Esther Buthelezi.

Gift of the Givers’ dedicated team completed extensive work, including installing three additional toilets and two extra basins and taps in the pre-primary section of the school. Moreover, the two primary school ablution blocks underwent significant upgrades, with 24 toilets, six urinals and 11 basins replaced, along with the fitting of new taps. In addition, the team painted the inside of the ablution blocks, replaced damaged doors, repaired broken window panes and stone guards, and inspected and replaced damaged water pipes.

The project also extended its benefits to a new classroom block, where ceilings were installed, floors tiled, 20 window sills constructed, and plastering was completed, plus a veranda roof was built to protect learners from the elements.

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