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Algoa FM steps up to the Eastern Cape education crisis

An education programme which has seen the pass rate at the Lwandlekazi High School in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, nearly triple over two years has been given a boost by participants in the annual Algoa FM Charity Golf day.
Thuli Mtila (Human Resources and CSI Representative of Algoa FM) handing the cheque for R100 000, proceeds from the 20th Annual Algoa FM Charity Golf Day 2012, to Fr. Jerry Browne (Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Masinyusane Development Organisation)
Thuli Mtila (Human Resources and CSI Representative of Algoa FM) handing the cheque for R100 000, proceeds from the 20th Annual Algoa FM Charity Golf Day 2012, to Fr. Jerry Browne (Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Masinyusane Development Organisation)
This year marks Algoa FM's 20th Annual Charity Golf Day, raising R100 000 for charity, the most ever raised in the history of the Algoa FM golf days. Previous beneficiaries include the Dora Nginza Incubator project, Quest School for learners with autism, the Liebenhaus Child and Youth Centre and Khaya Cheshire Home.

To qualify, the charities have to be registered non-profit organisations from the Nelson Mandela Bay area. "We look for causes through which we can make the greatest long-lasting contribution to meeting the needs of the community," says Algoa FM managing director Dave Tiltmann.

The Masinyusane Development Organisation's invaluable contribution to the community is evident through its intervention at the Lwandlekazi High School.

Lwadlekazi was the worst-performing school in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro when it was selected in 2008 by the Masinyusane Development Organisation to pilot an education programme.

According to Masinyusane, most of the Lwandlekazi pupils come from homes where unemployment is over 70 per cent. Approximately 50 per cent of the pupils are living in households without any income.

Less than 15 per cent of the students live with both parents, with 20 per cent living in wooden or tin shacks.

"Taking these statistics into consideration, it is clear that there is a big task ahead of us. Therefore, we are grateful to Algoa FM for recognizing the work we have done," says Jim McKeown, executive director of the Masinyusane Development Organisation.

"We commend the Masinyusane Development Program for achieving a milestone in the Eastern Cape," says Eastern Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula.

In 2008, the school's pass rate was 16 per cent. It nearly tripled to 47 per cent in 2010, after the programme was implemented.

"We need more projects like these, and we certainly need the community, university graduates and students giving back to the community through volunteering as tutors, as well as institutions like Algoa FM stepping up and making the education crisis in the Eastern Cape a personal and community problem and not only a government problem," says Makupula.

Algoa FM identified Masinyusane as the beneficiary of the 2012 golf day due to the station's commitment to uplifting the impoverished communities in the townships of the Eastern Cape.

"I think the key to this organisation's success is that they refrained from merely judging the poor matric pass rate in the Eastern Cape. They went into these communities, into the learners' homes, working with them and their families to come up with workable solutions," says managing director Dave Tiltmann.

Fr. Jerry Browne, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Masinyusane Development Organisation says, "The education crisis in the Eastern Cape cannot be overcome without taking a more holistic approach to education. This is what we have committed to doing."

4 Jun 2012 10:53

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