Giving Children a Day of Laughter

Pupils at Allingham Primary school in Phoenix were treated to a fun day as part of The Mercury’s Mandela Day celebrations on Friday.

The pupils were treated to a hot meal, an exhibition by the KZN Science Centre and enjoyed games, face painting and balloon sculpting.

Also at the event, SAP Africa in partnership with the KZN Science Centre and local businesses pledged their support for the renovation and restoration of the dilapidated ablution facilities at the school. Ramsamy International, FNB and The Mercury will contribute to a much-needed library and the painting of classrooms.

Yogas Nair, Independent Media’s KwaZulu-Natal regional executive editor and editor of The Mercury, said: “Madiba’s legacy is all about empowering, giving back and creating the right environment for our children’s education.”

She said the newspaper would like to thank everyone who helped make the Mandela Day event a success. She said the teachers and principal at Allingham Primary should be praised for the sterling work they do, despite the various challenges they faced.

Allingham Primary school principal Avinesh Pillay said he was grateful to the sponsors who had chosen to host the Mandela Day event at the school.

“Our three-year plan for the school will be accomplished in a matter of six months,” said Pillay, regarding the upgrades that had been pledged.

Prega Govender, marketing manager for FNB Umhlanga, said they were proud to be associated with the initiative.

“Mandela had an affinity for children and we were thrilled to be able to put a smile on their faces. We thank all the sponsors who came together to honour Mandela’s legacy. It is more than we could ever have asked for,” Govender said.

Speaking about the pledge to help the school, Sunil Geness, director of government relations and corporate social responsibility at SAP Africa, said: “We made the pledge so that pupils may undertake learning in a dignified environment.”

Geness said an assessment would be conducted on the current state of the ablution facilities this week and then a plan would be drawn up on how best to tackle the project.

“Renovations will begin almost immediately and the rest of the project will be done over the next school holidays,” Geness said.

The school’s governing body chairperson, Fayeema Adam, said they also appreciated the support pledged for the school.

She also said the children had thoroughly enjoyed the day.

A superintendent of education management in the Education Department, Siva Subrayen, said he had been inspired by the goodwill shown to the school.

“I feel very inspired about the future of this country because of the many businesses and others who have given their time and money to invest in our children,” he said.