Brother partners for sustainable learning at Olievenhoutbosch Christian School
Brother International South Africa, a leader in home and business IT peripherals worldwide, has partnered with the Olievenhoutbosch Christian School, situated in the Olievenhoutbosch township north of Johannesburg, to improve and upgrade not only the bricks and mortar, but the standard of schooling provided to the 172 local children enrolled.
The second phase of the project involved further structural improvements to the school buildings and supplying new Grade 0 - 4 textbooks and reading books for the 2015 school year.
Recently, the team from Brother visited the school to see the latest improvements, which included the upgrading, repair and maintenance of the toilet facilities for staff and children as well as the new Grade 0 classrooms. "With very basic toilet facilities available at the school, new plumbing, toilets and basins were installed and the structures were rebuilt and painted to accommodate everyone," explains school principal, Ria Wessels. The existing Grade 0 Wendyhouse classrooms were beginning to disintegrate so these were replaced with two new ones.
In an example of the community spirit prevalent in the area, the old classrooms were donated to nearby families to use as homes. "Nothing goes to waste in Olievenhoutbosch, and we are proud to not be the poorest school in the area anymore thanks to Brother. This makes a big difference to the children," continues Wessels.
In addition to the structural work, Brother International SA has provided text books and readers for the 172 learners enrolled for the 2015 school year. The school caters for students in Grade R to Grade 4 who live nearby and can walk to school every day for classes and aftercare. With an average class size in the area of up to 60 students per teacher, Olievenhoutbosch is fortunate to have 12 teachers that allows for smaller classes and more focused learning. The children start school at 07:45 and can stay for aftercare until 17:00. Teachers help with homework, sport and music in the afternoons.
After a tour around the school, the children presented their year-end concert with each Grade acting out an interpretation of friendship based on bible stories, complete with costumes, singing and dancing. Afterwards each child was given a lunch bag sponsored by Brother International SA.
"Being involved with such a worthwhile project and partnering in their development is a humbling experience. Sustainable development is what it is all about and making a meaningful contribution is important to us as a company and as people," concluded Dale de Villiers, marketing manager of Brother South Africa.
As a corporate citizen, the Brother Group wishes to demonstrate values that represent the "At your side" concept through the world. We are therefore involved in various social contribution activities in order to meet the needs of local communities around the globe.