Giving with a willing heart

John Graham Primary School pupils and teachers donating bread and jam to Where Rainbows Meet.

John Graham Primary School handed over boxes of some of the bread collected by pupils and staff to Where Rainbows Meet on Friday August 27.

The NGO based in Vrygrond is one of many charities who have benefited from the Plumstead-based school’s Care Group project which raises items of basic needs and then distributes them where needed.

Last term they did a beanie drive donating items to Tokai-based Thula Baba Project, said Grade 4 teacher Reinet Harris. This organisation equips mothers with an emergency care pack of basic supplies so they can give birth and get the baby home safely.

Narriman Lodewyk, also a Grade 4 teacher who co-ordinates the Care Group, said this term they had a bread drive. Every grade has a day on a rotation basis to bring bread to school.

Anwar Scholtz, a director at Where Rainbows Meet, said the pandemic has changed the focus of the organisation. Prior to Covid-19 the focus was education and training of children who drop out of school. They also have an early childhood development centre. “Now the focus is on food. We have a garden where the idea is for people to come and work in exchange for a meal and not to give a free handout. Unemployment is crazy at the moment and there’s a lot of poverty. Schools like this make our job possible. Every little bit makes an impact,” said Mr Scholtz.

Pupil Levi Fortuin said he is aware of where the bread is going. “To people who have not eaten for days and don’t have the money to buy bread themselves.”

Pupil Tadwanashe Zaranyika said the school’s motto is honour and integrity. “Charity, giving back and helping those who help us are part of this,” she said. At home she is also taught to give back. “With a willing heart so that it comes from a place of kindness. And to be kind, not just to those in need but to everyone.”

Pupil Courtney Louw says when she told her mum about the bread drive she spoke to the company she works for, Tiger Brands, and they donated not only bread but also jam.

Ms Harris said when another grade delivered bread to her classroom that morning her pupils clapped as they entered with the bread. “We’ve had an amazing response. In the past we asked for one strip of Easter eggs but the children come with boxes. These are distributed to people sitting in hospital queues and to old age homes and orphanages.”

She says they find out where to distribute via word-of-mouth and through teacher networking. In the fourth term they are collecting Christmas hampers of festive things for the school’s ground staff.

Ms Harris said they started the Care Group 12 years ago. Since then they have reached out to organisations such as the SPCA, Plumpets and contributed to a high tea for Tygerberg Hospital School.

Anwar Scholtz and Justin Edwards of Where Rainbows Meet loading bread and jam from John Graham Primary School pupils.