Fostering Healthier School Learners

School Health Week was launched in 1995 by the World Health Organisation to improve the health of learners, school personnel, families and communities.  The Adopt-a-School Foundation, a partner entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, commemorates this special week by shining the spotlight on its Social Welfare projects, implemented to improve the health and wellness of learners and the link between social welfare and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn.

In continuing to strive for healthier learners, the Adopt-a-School Foundation in partnership with Optometrist, Dire Thomas of Premier Optical, will be visiting Mosaledi Primary School and Sengana Primary School in Hammanskraal on the 8th of March 2019 to dispense spectacles to 58 deserving learners as part of its Social Welfare drive of this School Health Week.

Social Welfare is an important pillar of 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. The Social Welfare project focuses on health and social issues faced by learners. Programmes include; Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education programme, vision and hearing support programmes, parental workshops, psychosocial support services for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs), a moral regeneration programme and awareness campaigns.

“The majority of South Africa’s children live in rural areas, and many live in households with incomes below the poverty line. As a result, these learners often lack access to the most basic healthcare and social services. This reduces attendance at schools and the learners’ ability to concentrate on school activities in the classroom, causing poor pass and retention rates. Over the years through multiple corporate partnerships, we have been working hard at ensuring we cover all health and social welfare issues that may hinder a child to a healthy schooling cycle,” says Bernice Maponyane, Social Welfare Programme Manager, Adopt-a-School Foundation.

Since inception the Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education programme has reached 17 670 learners and over 390 parental workshops have been hosted. Support systems for Orphaned and Vulnerable children have been offered to 3330 children, 28 339 eyesight testing conducted and 2001 spectacles distributed, 1140 audiology testing and 23 hearing aids distributed.

“Adopt-a-School Foundation relies on corporates and individuals for funding. The Social Welfare Project was all made possible through funding from our partners and donors such as Merafe Resources Limited, Merrill Lynch South Africa, Industrial Development Corporation, Dr James Motlatsi, Peter Hindle and the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation to name just a few from the past year,” says Banyana Mohajane, Adopt-a-School Foundation Head of Programmes.