South African black-owned ICT services company, Ulwembu Business Services recently teamed up with the No Child Left Behind Fund, helping children across the Tshwane region with little or no access to online learning resources to continue their educational journey during the lockdown period.
According to Lebo Leitch, co-founder of the No Child Left Behind Fund, Ulwembu, along with subsidiary Bridging Digital Divide (BDD), has donated 750 educational packs to foundational phase learners from low-income areas within the metropolitan municipality between Grades R and three.
“While our communities ensured that there has been fantastic online learning material to keep kids on track during the COVID-19 lockdown, unfortunately there are millions of South African learners who may not have the devices needed to access the material that is available online,” she explains. “The #NoChildLeftBehindFund movement was established to keep the brains of our younger children, who will be amongst the last to return to school as the lockdown is lifted, engaged and try to fill the educational gap experienced by many over this period.”
The packs provided include a 100-page education support workbook, covering educational fundamentals such as numeracy, literacy, and more, which was designed to keep kids engaged and focused for a period every day. “The booklets encourage cognitive thinking and core strength, and also fine motor milestones like the pincer grip. We’ve also provided stationery, such as crayons, pencils, sharpeners and more, in order to ensure that no financial burden is placed on parents, as well as soap to encourage regular hand washing,” says Leitch.
In addition, each pack contained fortified porridge, which according to Leitch fulfills a child’s daily nutritional needs, and also assists with both physical energy and mental focus.
One recipient of the Ulwembu outreach was Sun Valley Primary School in the Tshwane-West district, where pupils received the donated learner packages. “Our vision is to develop learners through quality teaching, so that they become responsible and empowered citizens by ensuring a safe, healthy and conducive environment for learning, teaching sports and cultural activities within the school,” states Mr. SM Mashiane, Sun Valley Primary School principal. “This donation addresses the objective of creating an environment that encourages learning, and we express our sincere gratitude for this positive gesture.”
“Ulwembu and BDD both work closely with small businesses within Tshwane, and in operating on-ground within areas such as Mamelodi and Soshanguve for instance, supporting these communities is something that is close to our hearts,” continues Oupa Keele, program manager: City of Tshwane at Ulwembu Business Services. “The COVID-19 lockdown has been difficult for most South Africans, and devastating for many. We felt that it was important for Ulwembu to play some part in helping to alleviate the increasing pressures many families are experiencing during this time, and did not hesitate to offer assistance once we learnt of the No Child Left Behind Fund appeal.”
For more information on the #NoChildLeftBehindFund initiative, visit www.nochildleftbehind.fund.