In 2015, value retailer Ackermans partnered with the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, Nal'ibali, and Wordworks to start the Ackermans Ububele School to support early childhood development. In 2016, the 14 schools totalling 458 children in Grade R and 1,037 in Educare Centres. The participating schools are divided into two clusters, Belhar and Langa, each with a leading primary school and an Educare centre that feeds each primary school.
“Our School and governing body was keen to support the programme for the community and the parents. It is preparing for the future and if we are preparing for the future we must start at the base," said Fezile Mguqlwa, principal of Zimasa Primary School in Langa.
“Developing literacy among young children is one of the first steps towards unlocking a child’s potential and building a brighter future for them through education,” says Tracey Jager, HR Director of Ackermans. “Recognising that parents and teachers in developing areas have greater challenges when it comes to providing for children’s educational needs, we partnered with Storyplay, Nal’ibali’s latest literacy approach. We have also donated stationery and assisted with much-needed classroom upgrades.”
These extra donations include 1,235 backpacks and 2,315 storybooks.
Ackermans Phadimas (as the staff are known) have also contributed by donating cushions, rugs, puppet theatres and sock puppets.
“What this programme has done for the children is made them think broadly and has opened a lot of their thinking skills,” said Langa-based Monwabisi Pre-school principal, Tutu Nontuthuzelo Sibenya.
“Part of Bringing Value to Life means making a real difference in our communities and showing that we care about the future of our children,” says Hanifa Jassiem, CSI spokesperson at Ackermans. “The word Ububele means kindness and generosity and through this we would love to see our Ackermans Ububele Schools grow. We are in the second year of a three-year plan and we hope that the results will testify to the value it delivers and that the programme has room for growth to more schools in the Western Cape and eventually other provinces too.” For more information on the Ackermans Ububele School Programme, please visit http://www.ackermans.co.za/CSI.