City brightens up Orange Farm school
Dozens of City of Johannesburg employees, joined by the staff of leading health group Discovery, made the children and community of Driziek, Orange Farm, in southern Johannesburg very happy on Tuesday when they arrived to give the Govan Mbeki Primary School and the nearby Carnation Early Development Centre a welcome spruce-up.
The painting of the school’s library and the daycare centre marked the first day of the City’s Social Development Department’s four-day voluntary programme aimed at helping to contribute to the improvement of the residents’ quality of life.
The initiative formed part of Mandela Month celebrations, which reached their climax on Saturday July 18, International Mandela Day, when City employees and thousands of residents across Johannesburg gave 67 minutes of their time to good causes. Discovery, a long-standing partner of the City of Johannesburg, donated all the paint and brushes used during Tuesday’s facelift.
Discovery also gave the teaching staff at both the school and daycare centre free medical check-ups for lifestyle diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. The wellness testing will be extended to the rest of Orange Farm residents when Discovery and the City embark on door-to-door visitations on Friday – the fourth and final day of the voluntary programme.
Wandile Zwane, Executive Director of the City’s Department of Social Development, said the voluntary programme was aimed at bringing the community of Orange Farm closer to the City’s services. He said it was imperative for the community to work hand in hand with the City in the fight against poverty, illiteracy, grime, crime, squalor and filth.
“No government can do it on its own. This is why we appreciate and value our partnership with Discovery,” he said.
Zwane said he was also impressed by the spirit of volunteerism among the residents, who came in their numbers to help with the painting and repackaging of library books. “It is very encouraging to see people eager to make a contribution to the betterment of their communities,” Zwane said.
Govan Mbeki Primary School principal Michael Kele said he was happy and proud that his school had benefited from the voluntary programme. He said the revamping of the library would hopefully energise the learners to study even harder.
Equally delighted was Carnation Early Development Centre head Duduzile Buthelezi, who said the painting of the daycare centre would go a long way towards restoring pride among the teaching staff, the children and the community at large. “We are thankful to all who made this possible,” she said.