Liesbeeck Primary teachers’ 21km run leads to borehole donation

At back is teacher Irafaan Abrahams,and in front, from left, are Melvina Razant, school governing body chairperson, Richard Flusk, principal Wahied Gasant, Ashraf Kenny, head of fundraising at SANZAF, Shafiek Barendse, regional manager at SANZAF and Abdul Gakeem Sydow, head of distribution at SANZAF.

Liesbeeck Primary School has officially had their borehole installed to help grow their school garden project.

Earlier this year principal Wahied Gasant and teacher Irafaan Abrahams ran 21km to raise funds for a borehole and the South African National Zakáh Fund (SANZAF) stepped forward and donated R30 000 to help them reach their goal (“Teachers go out on two limbs for their school,” Plainsman, April 7).

The idea was born from running the race, Mr Gasant told the Plainsman on Thursday December 9.

“We’ve realised the school isn’t just part of the community but we are the community. We’re not just setting the tone but creating a community that’s holistic and inclusive,” said Mr Gasant.

This race has opened up so many doors and the aim is to continue providing support to the community in and around their school by giving them food from their very own growing garden, he said.

They’ve trained the pupils how to harvest and garden. “The only way we’ll be successful is if we continue to keep our gates open. It’s amazing to see the blessings unfold,” said Mr Gasant.

“This is just the beginning. We’re going to continue to equip our children to be multi-skilled in all areas. It’s amazing how a little race can lead to something bigger. People are coming to our school asking how they can help us. The sub-forums, street committees and neighbourhood watches also assist us in keeping our school, staff and pupils safe,” said Mr Gasant.

“Through it all a person is reminded to remain humble. We see how our children experience trauma and challenges in the community. We will continue to assist them the best way we can as there is still a great need for development,” said Mr Gasant.

Ashraf Kenny, head of fundraising at SANZAF Western Cape, said the R30 000 was funded by the SANZAF office in Gauteng.

SANZAF is a faith-based, social welfare and educational organisation that strives to facilitate the empowerment of needy families through the efficient collection and coordinated distribution of Zakah (obligatory charity paid by Muslims).

Their mission is to help the poor and those in need, regardless of race, colour, political affiliation, gender or belief to live sustainable, self-reliant lives within safe and caring communities, he said.

Fortunately, the bulk of the infrastructure had already been in existence at the school for the borehole, such as the tanks. “We therefore funded the drilling and submersible pump, which were the only outstanding requirements,” he said.

“Mr Abrahams has been doing great work in our communities over very many years. Mr Abrahams made the appeal to SANZAF on the schools behalf,” said Mr Kenny.

“SANZAF’s places a great emphasis on development. As such, the planned use of the borehole with regards to the community gardening project fits well with the sustainable development projects that SANZAF implements,” said Mr Kenny.

From left are Irafaan Abrahams and staff Richard Flusk in the school’s garden on Thursday December 9.

Mr Abrahams said the donation from SANZAF will be instrumental in their gardening project.

“This has come a long way and it is so refreshing to have something we can call our own. There is a growing need for food in our communities as more and more children are attending our feeding scheme,” said Mr Abrahams.

The pupils are empowering themselves to empower others, he said.

“Water is a source of life in school and this borehole will help us breed new ideas. With this water source we want to continue to help people think and take this to another level,” said Mr Abrahams.