Lace up for Change, a non-profit company, has given 267 pairs of school shoes, stationery packs and snacks to a Philippi primary school, after the charity’s co-founder ran 50 half marathons to raise funds.
Irafaan Abrahams ran the marathons last year with the aim of raising enough money to provide school shoes to 50 schools across the country. He came up with the idea on his 50 birthday.
The Dietrich Moravian Primary School pupils received their new shoes on Wednesday March 2. The school serves Philippi and various informal settlements, according to principal Liesl Fisher.
“We serve underprivileged areas and some of our children may not have the school shoes they need. This means a lot that Lace up for Change is donating school shoes to our school. It is as if we are receiving Christmas outfits. This will instil a sense of confidence in them,” said Ms Fisher.
Mr Abrahams gave his heart and soul, and the school felt honoured to be the first to benefit from his efforts, she said.
“Each child receiving school shoes is a blessing to us… We thank you for this gesture. The fact that you can give all our children shoes is heart-warming. Kindness is when you give to others who can never give back. Giving with a heart like that, is enough. We thank you and your team for all the hard work.”
Mr Abrahams said: “We tried the best we could. We may not have known you children, but you kept us going and still are keeping us going. While running those miles, you motivated us.
“We want the children to be treated like pieces of gold. Education is power. Just by choosing to learn and doing their best in becoming what they want is all we need.”
He said he hoped the pupils would remember the day they received the new shoes and be encouraged to help others.
“You have become our family,” Mr Abrahams told the school.
He thanked Salie Price and Shanaaz Price for supporting the Lace up for Change team on their runs.
Mr Price said: “May you and your team continue on this journey. Go further and further with the communities who need help. We continue to stand behind you with this initiative.”
Lace up for Change also donated to the community of Genadendal on Saturday March 5, giving 400 pairs of shoes to LR Schmidt Primary School and 300 to Barea Primary School. The organisation plans to make donations to three schools in Grabouw next week.
For more information follow their website on Lu4c.org.za.