School Health Week, always the first week of March is an annual event. The aim of the week is to highlight the importance of healthcare and learner well-being in education. Adopt-a-School (AAS) Foundation, a partner entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, tackles a wide range of health and wellbeing issues facing our schools, including hygiene and sanitation, sexual education, audio and visual support; this with the aim of ensuring our learners are healthy and equipped for excellence in teaching and learning.
South Africa has seen an increase in bullying behaviour among school-age children. Last year, Adopt-a-School Foundation, in partnership with Merafe Resources, took the learners of Meriti Secondary School on a Moral Regeneration Camp – which aimed at encouraging learners to commit to efforts of fostering positive values and caring society in pursuit of lasting peace in school environments.
In continuing to strive for healthier learners at Meriti Secondary School, Adopt-a-School Foundation is facilitating a Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education Programme starting on 4 March 2020, as part of its Social Welfare drive during School Health Week. The programme addresses health, hygiene, sanitation, puberty and sex education at these schools by facilitating public discussions with both boys and girls about these topics.
Social Welfare is one of the pillars of the Adopt-a-School Foundation’s Whole School Development model. Whole School Development is designed to address infrastructure, school leadership, curriculum and social welfare in disadvantaged schools. Social Welfare interventions focus on health and social issues faced by learners and offer programmes that reduce learner absenteeism.
“Over the years through multiple corporate partnerships, we have worked hard at mitigating health and social welfare issues that may hinder a child’s well-being and an effective learning process. As with the many communities we work in, the majority of households in the Meriti community live in households with low incomes and often lack access to basic health and social services, which impact learner school attendance,” says Bernice Maponyane, Social Welfare Programme Manager, Adopt-a-School Foundation.
Since inception, the Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education programme has reached 19,170 learners and over 457 parental workshops have been hosted. Support systems for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) have been offered to 3,330 children, with 192,467 eyesight tests conducted and 8,390 spectacles distributed. Further 1,634 audiology tests have been conducted within our schools with 28 hearing aids distributed. The Moral Regeneration Programme has reached 2,450 learners within the schools’ Learner Representative Councils.
“Adopt-a-School Foundation relies on the support and commitment of corporates and individuals and their belief that education is a critical driver for South Africa. The Social Welfare Project was all made possible through funding from our donor – Merafe Resources,” says Banyana Mohajane, Adopt-a-School Foundation Head of Programmes.
Adopt-a-School Foundation (AAS) is an entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (CRF) and was officially established in 2002 by a group of concerned individuals, including Cyril Ramaphosa and Dr James Motlatsi. The Foundation is registered as a Section 21 company with PBO status and has an Independent Board of Directors.
The Foundation works with a wide range of stakeholders including; District, Provincial and National Departments of Basic Education, corporate donors, various service providers and best practice NGOs. The Foundation implements Whole School Development – a holistic model aimed at improving the academic, infrastructural, social and security environment in schools.
There are currently 609 schools under the Adopt-a-School Foundation’s adoption programme. The Foundation works in all nine provinces in South Africa, and in Lesotho and Mozambique.
For more information on Adopt-a-School, visit the Foundation’s website at www.adoptaschool.org.za. Email or call 011 592 6580.
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