Pretoria – Hundreds of learners at the Shikhati and Khujwana primary schools in Tzaneen on Friday received school shoes, socks and winter hats donated by Ekurhuleni-based businessman Given Muhlarhi in support of Hope for Africa’s Barefoot Walk campaign.
Venda traditional leadership led by Chief Matsila, Limpopo provincial education officials led by chief director Matthew Mhlongo, the South African Police Service at Ritavi represented by Constable Ivy Mapimele, Hope for Africa Foundation’s Hope Thabethe and Muhlarhi walked barefoot to deliver boxes of the school attire at the two schools.
“I was once a learner at these two schools and I feel that nomatter how far one goes in life, you must never forget where you are coming from. These schools moulded me into what I am here, and I would like to give back to the community that nurtured me. It is now winter and one cannot imagine a young, innocent child walking barefoot to school,” said Muhlarhi.
“I was challenged by my friend Hope Thabethe to walk barefoot for the whole day, to experience what the learners here experience, and to take something out of my pocket to turn the situation around. In these learners, we have future leaders of this country and if we do not invest in them, we are lost as a nation.”
Muhlarhi told learners that a recent bullying incident in which Limpopo pupil Lufuno Mavhunga was assaulted before she committed suicide was a very low point for the province.
“I expect you, learners to commit that you will not stand by when another learner is bullied. I attended these schools many years ago myself, but what I know is that we stand up for other learners when they are attacked by bullies. That video which was widely circulated, does not represent us as learners and former learners from Limpopo,” Muhlarhi said.
Chief Matsila committed to taking part in the Barefoot Walk campaign which annually raises school shoes and sanitary pads for children in African countries.
Mhlongo, representing Limpopo member of the executive council for education Polly Boshielo, aid the shoes donation would go a long way in raising the self esteem of the learners.
African News Agency (ANA)