Bridgestone Southern Africa has handed over more than R140 000 in school equipment, supplies and uniform to four schools in the Brits area, where the company’s anchor manufacturing facility is located.
The donation forms part of the company’s local outreach programme, which seeks to enhance how people live, learn and work. This is part of the corporate mission to make a positive impact on the communities in which it operates at the global and local levels.
“The schools were selected based on their proximity to our plant, being located in impoverished communities, and for the fact that most of the employees working in the Brits factory reside in these areas,” says Vuyokazi Xapa, Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Bridgestone Southern Africa. “The schools have always struggled with overcrowding and limited resources, and we felt could truly fulfil our global mission to help build safer, healthier communities and make education more accessible and inclusive.”
Across the four schools, Bridgestone donated 40 school chairs, 40 junior school desks, a total of 20 computers (five per school), 66 pairs of black school shoes, over 50 pairs of socks, stationery and 122 school uniforms. The uniforms included tracksuits, t-shirts, school skirts and trousers.
The schools we have identified to receive these resources were Kutlwano Primary School in Oukasie, Tlhoafalo Primary School in Letlahbile, BK Guma Primary School in Mboloka, and Motlhake Primary School in Mmakau. An average of 20 children at each of the schools received much-needed supplies.
These schools were not chosen randomly, but each of their respective governing bodies made representations to Bridgestone. Through a community trust, they detailed the areas where the most impact could be achieved, as well as the pupils most in need of support.
“We do not see this handover as a once-off giveaway, but an integrated and long-term partnership we want to nurture with the schools,” says Vuyokazi “We will regularly monitor progress of the schools and learners, not just those we have invested in directly.
“As we gain a better view of the systemic challenges facing the schools, we will provide mentoring, consultation and sustainable support to enhance the academic prospects of learners,” adds Vuyokazi .