There is no holiday for some of the local heroes featured in the Daily Dispatch this year, with fundraising already underway to buy school uniforms for disadvantaged children next year.
More than R3000 was raised by Ubuntu Warriors, a group of friends from Mthatha who run the Shoes-to-School campaign.
The friends – Mtha Gaulekapa, Esethu Ndzamela, Siphesihle Ndamase and Laerce Heslop – have helped at least 250 children who had been wearing wornout shoes or none at all to own a new pair by the time schools open next year.
Last weekend the group hosted a picnic at Mthatha High School, their former school, which treated holiday makers and residents to a live music concert by local artists.
Gaulekapa said it was a huge success and raised awareness about their campaign.
“We have had various fundraising events throughout the year to raise funds for the initiative, buying shoes for learners without shoes, especially for the winter season.
“Now we want to ensure that some learners get to start the year with new shoes.
“Furthermore we are planning on hosting a cake sale after Christmas at the municipal swimming pools, just to add to what we have received this far so more learners can have shoes on the first day of the school.”
A similar initiative by friends who formed an organisation called Bambanani Ma Afrika in Mbizana aims to raise funds for school uniforms.
Group member Mfunkeo Mthi said their campaign was among the mandatory central pillars in building a society.
“Some solid research needs to be conducted in order to grasp the dynamics on why some children are not going to school each and every start of the academic school year.”
Bambanani Ma Afrika will be hosting a festival on December 26 at the Mbizana Municipal Park featuring local artists and food stalls.
Mthi said schools had been identified, but would only be named on delivery.
“Money raised in the event will be specifically utilized to buy ‘school uniform’ in preparation for the new academic year 2016 for all the learners identified in schools throug engagements with school principals and parents,” said Mthi.