The Bavarians Outreach Organisation is on a mission to restore pride in young pupils, specifically in farming communities, by providing much-needed school uniforms.
Through a joint partnership with UK-based Yapton Free Church, they were able to provide 294 pairs of brand-new school shoes to pupils at three rural primary schools in the Durbanville area.
The organisation consists of nine men from the Kraaifontein area, who decided in 2013 to use their free time to make a difference in their communities.
“We decided to focus on the needs of school children, especially in the rural areas and have completed various projects mainly concerning school uniform donations,” said spokesman, Ricardo Coetzee.
The school shoes were donated to pupils from Meulenhof Primary School, Philadelphia Primary School and Klipheuwel Primary School. The Bavarians approached the schools last year, to find out what the need is at these schools.
“During a meeting it was mentioned that school shoes were much needed. Some of the pupils have to walk to school and this was therefore important to us,” said Mr Coetzee.
Philadelphia Primary School principal Martie Joubert said they welcomed this gift and were very grateful. “We struggle with sponsorships and we were excited after being approached by the organisation,” he said.
Mr Joubert said they have a great relationship with parents and the pupils, but that funding remains a big problem. Meulenhof Primary School principal Hendrik van Wyk says poverty, infrastructure and low levels of literacy, are the challenges the school is faced with.
“The parents our not by the means as they are struggling financially, which makes it very hard for us as a school. We are thankful for this donation,” he said.
Elaine van der Merwe from Brackenfell read an article on the organisation and reached out to them. “I told my daughter in the UK about this project and she raised the funds. I believe that every child should have a decent pair of school shoes and that is why I wanted to get involved,” she said.
Mr Coetzee said they chose to focus on school uniforms as it instils pride in young children. “Pupils often feel out of place if they do not have proper school clothes and we wanted to make a difference in this way.”
The Bavarians will focus on marketing and fundraising efforts over the next few months.