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Six weeks after the devastating blaze that displaced 1500 people in Valhallah Park, the impact is still being felt. Many of the school children affected started the school year without uniforms, donning over-sized hand-me-downs instead. Mustadafin Foundation recognises the plight of these children whose dignity at school is integral to their performance.

“When children feel marginalised, or less than their peers, they are often distracted from their learning. We are reminded of Mother Theresa’s saying that ‘The height of deprivation is to feel unwanted.’ A child’s self-image and confidence can get a huge boost from something as simple as a new uniform. We have worked to source funding to cover the costs of clothing these children, restoring their dignity at school and giving them less to deal with beside their school work,” says Mustadafin Director, Ghairunisa Johnstone. “Having a school uniform helps them feel that they belong in a learning environment.”

Uniforms were handed over to children from five different schools in the Valhallah Park area – Bergville Primary, Bishop Lavis High School, Parkvale Primary, Beauvallon Secondary and Valpark Primary – on Tuesday 18 February 2014.

“We are grateful to the donors from Laudium and Cape Town who responded to the call for aid for these kids. We received great cooperation from the community and schools in identifying the children in need and assisting with the distribution,” says Johnstone.

In keeping with its mission to empower people to become self -sufficient and independent, Mustadafin Foundation has made education one of its priorities this year, ensuring that children at school have whatever they need to succeed, from stationery to uniforms. Plans to extend youth development interventions to this area are under discussion.

To get involved call 0216330010 or email communication@mustadafin.org.za