The competition is part of the company’s commitment to improving the wellbeing of children in the countries it operates in, under the Bata Children’s Programme, and run by the BFirst by Bata brand.
The winning schools are:
Managing director at Bata South Africa, Michael Wyatt, said: “At Bata South Africa, we are committed to providing children with the opportunities they need to help them reach their full potential. This competition was aimed at finding those deserving schools, nominated by community members. We at Bata South Africa are honoured to be able to gift the schools these brand-new playgyms that we know will mean many happy hours of playing. There is no better way to learn and socialise than by playing.”
Square Hill Primary School in Cape Town was established in 1967 and provides education to learners from economically disadvantaged areas. Principal GG Paulsen said: “We humbly thank BFirst by Bata, the brand that has made this possible. Bata has been synonymous in schools for generations, with its durable and comfortable footwear for children. Our sincere gratitude is extended to the school community and friends of Square Hill Primary School for their nomination and votes that ultimately afforded our school the prize. Our appreciation is also extended to @thetoolbox for offering its wellness programme to our learners.”
KwaThintwa School for the Deaf, based in Cato Ridge, just outside of Durban, provides education for learners with hearing challenges, who live in rural communities. Headmistress Dr M Naidoo said: “On behalf of the staff and learners of KwaThintwa school, we wish to extend our gratitude to BFirst by Bata for their generous donation of a playgym. As the majority of our learners are full time boarders at the school, this playgym will provide them with many hours of stimulation and fun. Many of our learners also experience gross motor, core and balance difficulties due to inner ear damage thus the playgym will assist them in developing these areas. Thank you Bfirst Bata for this wonderful initiative and for bringing so much joy to our learners.”
Tshireletso Primary School, in Soweto, caters for learners whose parents earn low incomes. Their school is in dire need of resources for a conducive learning environment. Principal Ghardy Mokgethi said: “We just came back from a very depressing period of lockdown and you’ve now made us smile. The school management team and governing body is very grateful to the campaign ran by BFirst by Bata. We appreciate your interest in the wellbeing of our learners and improvement of our resources. Our leaners and educators are also going to benefit from the Wellness Workshop as it will improve learners’ concentration and promote good health for all. Thank you!”
The winning schools will also benefit from a Wellness Workshop hosted by wellness champions and yoga instructors, sisters Nomzamo and Nosizwe Mji who run The Toolbox.
Their wellness workshop teaches learners how to develop healthy coping mechanisms for life challenges such as stress, relationships and their environment. They use yoga, play, storytelling and theatre to equip young people with tools to develop awareness, focus, confidence, trust and curiosity.
“We cannot wait to hand over the playgyms and become part of the educational journey of the learners at the three schools. There’s no doubt that these playgyms will form part of an overall healthy education system that’s focused on investing in our children and by extension, our country’s future leaders,” said Michael Sithambaram, Back to School brand manager at Bata South Africa.
The playgyms will be handed over during the month of September.
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