By Tshidiso Masopa

7 million children are without school shoes. A further 75% of learners missed school because the walk was just too difficult to bear. There are various health issues that come with wearing inadequate school shoes – ingrown toenails, back and neck pain, and spinal misalignments called subluxations are just some of them. Not to mention a reduced academic performance.

Beyond that, children without school shoes miss out on the dignity that comes with having a complete school uniform – a privilege that I overlooked back when I was in school.

Tiger Brands is looking to make a difference. On the 7th of February, Tiger Brands delivered over 1000 pairs of school shoes to eight schools in the Free State. The beneficiaries are children who come from households where school shoes are a luxury.

What’s even more admirable about this initiative is that the school shoes were donated by Tiger Brands employees through the company’s Tigers Care employee volunteer programme.

Tiger Brands is fittingly involved in the nutrition of children as well. This, the participating schools in their school shoe initiative are also beneficiaries of the Tiger Brands Foundation School Breakfast project. Namely:

●       Calendon Park Primary School – Ficksburg

●       Kweetsa Primary School – Hennenman

●       Masaleng Primary School – Ficksburg

●       Mehopung Primary School – Ficksburg

●       Meqheleng Primary School – Ficksburg

●       Phomolong Primary School – Hennenman

●       Qhowaneng Public Primary School – Ficksburg

●       Seithati Primary School – Botshabelo

Tiger Brands’ initiative is about academic equality as much as it is about innovation. They’ve partnered with MyWalk, a non-profit organisation that recycles non-contaminated PVC drip bags, oxygen masks and associated tubing to manufacture durable and recyclable school shoes.

Mary-Jane Morifi, Tiger Brands Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer says, “Many of us take for granted the difference a pair of school shoes can make in the life of a child who ordinarily goes without. We hope to bring back pride and dignity to our children with a reliable and beautifully made pair of school shoes,”

A further 1 000 school shoes will be donated to deserving children in the Limpopo province in February.

“At Tiger Brands, we actively encourage our employees to get involved in community projects which the company supports. This is always met with great excitement and willingness across the business,” says Morifi.

Tiger Brands is influencing South Africans to walk a mile in the shoes of the less privileged. If each and every working South African contributes a pair of School Shoes a year, we’ll be one step closer to ensuring that no student will have to go school barefooted again.

The post Tiger Brands: Taking all the Right Steps to addressing School Shoe insecurity – By Tshidiso Masopa appeared first on The Home Of Great South African News.


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