On Monday 2 March, Saint-Gobain handed over school shoes for 215 barefooted learners at Mvelaphanda Primary School in Tembisa. Employees donated the R35 000,00 used to purchase the shoes as part of the company’s ongoing contribution to the school. With winter a mere few weeks away, the timing of the shoe handover is opportune.
Saint-Gobain’s long-standing relationship with Mvelaphanda Primary School began in 2015 with its investment in the school’s new ablution facilities as part of the group’s 350th anniversary. Over the years, the company has continued to support Mvelaphanda by painting, cleaning and renovating, as well as planting vegetables at the school.
Jean-Claude Lasserre, CEO of Saint-Gobain Africa, handed the shoes to the school’s headmaster, Mr. Thomas Mathavha, in the company of dignitaries from the French Consulate, the Gauteng Department of Education, Kaya FM, and the Tembisa ward committee.
“This gift will give dignity to children who have never owned a pair of new shoes, and enable them to compete with their peers,” said Mathavha. “Thanks to Saint-Gobain’s continued support, Mvelaphanda is one of the top 10 schools in Ekurhuleni.”
The event included discussions on the different elements that build a conducive learning environment, and how Saint-Gobain solutions can improve acoustics and thermal comfort, both key elements for an environment that encourages optimal learning and knowledge absorption.
“Saint-Gobain is happy to see that the school has grown significantly from 850 learners in 2015, to over 1000 in 2020. This partnership highlights our continuous commitment to learning and education and the decrease of youth unemployment in South Africa. Mvelaphanda is one of the schools we will continue to support each year through our Mandela Day initiatives,” said Lasserre.