Fhumulani Tshivhanda is a 13-year-old boy who stays at Malale village, outside Musina. For the past few years, Fhumulani walked bare footed to school while carrying his books in a plastic bag. Good news is that Fhumulani’s life and those of his colleagues have changed for the better after De Beers Venetia Mine and Musina Municipality handed over 198 pairs of school shoes, 200 school bags and 25 boxes of sanitary pads to the learners of Malale Primary School.

Hendrick Matjila from De Beers Venetia Mine said the donation is part of their obligation to support the communities in which they operate. “We take education very seriously and we have a duty to assist the learners to attain a brighter future. There are various initiatives that we are undertaking in both urban and rural schools and this is just one of them. We are hopeful that the donations will motivate these children to work hard at school.”

Mayor Mihloti Muhlope said education is one of the top priority areas for Musina Municipality. “We partner with various stakeholders, including De Beers Venetia Mine, to improve the standard of education around the municipality. The fact that the learners who received the donations are from indigent families is a living testimony that we want to address inequalities amongst the learners at school. If we make the education environment conducive, chances are that the learners will perform better than those who are faced with many challenges.”

One of the beneficiaries, a grade 7 learner, Fhumulani Tshivhanda was over the moon after receiving his pair of shoes and a school bag. He said: “I’m very delighted on behalf of all the learners who received the school shoes and bags today. We thought we were forgotten because we are based in the deep rural areas. We really thank the sponsors and we promise them to work hard to get good results at the end of the year.”