Foundations provide masks for pupils

From left are SA rugby legend, Pieter Muller, SA rugby legend, Dale Santon, MRP Foundation Mentor and JET Education member, Ivor Nober, principal of Highlands Primary School, Tanya van Graan, JET Education member, Emily Solomon and SA rugby legend, Kabamba Floors.

Partnering to support South African pupils, sporting heroes from the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA), Kabamba Floors, Pieter Muller and Dale Santon, assisted in delivering locally made, reusable masks to Highlands Primary School in Lentegeur, one of 98 primary schools in the MRP Foundation Schools Programme.

Schools throughout South Africa have had to battle numerous challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as distance learning and returning to school, said Karen Wells, head of MRP Foundation.

MRP Foundation launched a fundraising campaign to provide additional masks to all 78 000 pupils who are a part of their education programme to complement the masks provided by the Department of Education, said Ms Wells.

Former Springbok and 7s flank, Kabamba Floors, was one of the sporting stars present at the handover. “It’s all about the safety of the children as they need to return to school. These communities in Mitchell’s Plain don’t have access to online homeschooling facilities, like Zoom, so they need to return to school to finish the curriculum. What we’re doing is important so the children can be assisted with masks during this time.”

SARLA and MRP Foundation are both involved in schools across South Africa through their respective youth development programmes.

SARLA runs the sustainable rugby programme, VUKA Rugby, and the MRP Foundation’s School Programme supports school management and leadership, develops educators, involves parents and communities and holistically develops pupils.

Highlands Primary School principal Tanya van Graan was delighted to receive the masks on behalf of the school.

“We’re so grateful for these masks as some parents cannot afford to give additional masks to their children. Teachers face many challenges, especially during a time like this, that just knowing that we have partnerships with organisations like the MRP Foundation means a tremendous deal to us as a Highlands community. We feel the camaraderie and we know they have our back. Now, the show needs to go on.”