Christmas in January as Mdantsane kids smile

Christmas in January as Mdantsane kids smile


By Zolile Menzelwa

Christmas will come early for children from struggling families in Mdantsane this year as Peppy Thomas Foundation will donate shoes in their third annual installment.

The foundation was given a major shot in the arm by ANC Dr WB Rubusana regional secretary Antonio Carels when he donated 50 pairs of school shoes on Friday. Foundation secretary Sikulule Matiti said the foundation was conceived after noticing poor children from around Mdantsane not enjoying Christmas.

“We decided to start making lunch for the children and bring jumping castles and have a day of fun. We are three ordinary guys from Mdantsane who just want to give back to our community. This shoe project is a means to stop the level of dropping out of school by poor children. When children have a new school item they always look forward to going to school,” he said.

Matiti said when a child goes to school with at least one new item it’s hard to tell who is poor. The foundation also has sporting tournaments that it hosts annually. “We don’t get any form of funding from government but we work with individuals and businesses who share our vision. Last year we donated 200 pairs of shoes and this year we are aiming at 250. We have 60 pairs so far and anyone willing to assist us can contact us via our Facebook page Peppy Thomas Foundation.”

Matiti said the official handover is always on February and this year it will be on February 8 at the NU 4 library. “We are choosing the library because we want a black child to familiarise himself with a library and how that institution can change his/ her life,” Matiti said adding that they will be approaching school principals to each send 20 disadvantaged pupils to collect a pair of shoes each.

Carels, in a telephonic interview with HotNews, said he had always had a passion for helping the needy. He said he was invited to last year’s Christmas dinner by the foundation and noted the level of poverty. “I come from a poor family myself and I know how it is to be needy. I would go to school barefoot or with torn shoes and I would wish I came from a different family. I know the pain of being poor,” he said.

Carels said even the ANC putting him in the position of regional secretary meant he should look out for the needy as the ANC is a caring party. Carels will be working with the foundation in other projects in the future, he said. Other members of the foundation are Thandulwazi Thomas as the chairperson and Lubabalo Makapela as the treasurer.


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