The month of June 2020 not only marks the commemoration of Youth Month, but it is the also the month when schools in the Western Cape welcomed back Grade 7 and 12 learners to resume the 2020 academic year during the first week of June.
This has seen schools put measures in place to ensure safe learning for the country’s future engineers and scientists. The wearing of face masks is compulsory as part of measures of curbing COVID-19. While wearing a mask is compulsory even for learners while at school, not everyone has access to a quality face mask. It is for this reason that Metropolitan saw it fit to roll up its sleeves and find a way to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
In partnership with the Unite4One movement ( a South African organisation united by a common goal of turning tragedy into victory in an effort to making a difference in the world) the company donated 10 000 face masks to over 150 schools in vulnerable communities across the Western Cape Province – which is one the hardest hit Provinces by the Covid-19 pandemic. This initiative is endorsed by the province’s Department of Education in an effort to assist the government in ensuring safe learning amidst the outbreak.
Heeding to Government’s call for corporate South Africa to assist in the fight against the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the impact thereof, the authorised financial services provider made the announcement of their school donation on Friday, 5 June, during a hand over ceremony at their Head Office to three of the many schools being supported through this initiative. Principals from the three schools, Lwazi Primary School, Bottlary Primary School as well as Rosendaal Secondary School were invited for a symbolic handover of the face masks which will assist with ensuring safety of learners for the remainder of the 2020 academic year.
“It is our firm belief at Metropolitan that there is power in collaboration. Our partnership with government and Unite4One speaks to our ethos of collective action for the greater good. As a brand that really cares about what matters to South African communities, it’s important for us to support the very communities that we come from and this is why we are so dedicated to this initiative that will see learners being safe at schools.” – explains Japie Mostert, Head of Channel and Board Member at Metropolitan.
Mr Mdini, Principal of one of the beneficiary schools, Lwazi Primary Schools in Gugulethu is relieved that his Grade 7 learners will have quality face masks when schools reopen. “These masks are going to make a huge difference to the lives of our learners and we are truly grateful to Metropolitan for the assistance they have offered. As a school, it is our duty to ensure safe learning and prioritising the safety of our learners throughout the duration of the academic year is critical,” says Mr Mdini. He further emphasised that the high rates of infections in the Western Cape was of concern and that the provision of masks to learners is a step in the right direction and wishes to continue the relationship with Metropolitan in making the Gugulethu schooling community safer during this pandemic.
“Education is one of the most critical investments we can make in society. It is a tool that has the power to change the world. With that said, it not only important for learners to receive quality education but it our duty to ensure that they are also safe. We are extremely proud of this partnership because as Government we can’t do everything and we do need corporate South Africa to come on board and join us on our journey of getting to the other side of Covid-19,” said Mr William Jantjies, Western Cape Education Department Director for Institutional Management and Governance who was also part of the handover ceremony.
Delivery of the face masks to schools in vulnerable communities across Western Cape will continue over the next 2 weeks, ensuring that Metropolitan’s legacy of over 120 years of serving and empowering South African communities remains at the forefront of the company providing solutions through the best and most challenging times. This is part of Metropolitan’s donation of over 110 000 across the country to local municipalities, the elderly, schools, SAPS, Traffic Departments, and local Government. Distribution and allocation is based on COVID 19 infections and high-risk statistics as well as the population of each province.