Al Baraka Bank Launches R40 000 School Shoe Drive, Bringing Dignity To Deserving Learners Across South Africa

01 March 2023

The lack of school shoes negatively impacts the learning process, whilst also compromising the dignity and confidence of disadvantaged learners.

This was the view of Ms Fathima Mohamed, Al Baraka Bank’s Sustainability and Social Responsibility Officer, when announcing the Bank’s 2024 national school shoe drive recently.

Huge numbers of South Africa’s historically disadvantaged school-going children go to school barefoot. Poverty and unemployment have left, especially, rural parents unable to afford school shoes for their children, with many walking long distances to attend classes barefoot.

“For so many of us shoes are a basic component of the school uniforms our children wear and are something we take for granted, but for many thousands of this country’s historically disadvantaged learners, owning a pair of school shoes is a privilege. Having a pair of shoes they are able to call their own makes the long walk to and from school more comfortable and the learning process more dignified.”

She added: “Having a pair of school shoes assists learners to be a lot more focused in the classroom, without the distraction of both physical discomfort and peer-based ridicule. For those without shoes the learning process may be severely diminished, especially during South Africa’s winter months when the biting cold makes lesson concentration unbearable.”

“Just as every child has the right to a fit and proper education, they deserve to be suitably attired to receive and benefit from that education.”

Al Baraka Bank’s annual school shoe drive assists in making this a reality for deserving under-privileged learners across South Africa. This year, in collaboration with three Non-Government Organisations, the Gift of the Givers Foundation, Al Hasanaat and Hakuna Matata and Friends, the Bank has donated 320 pairs of school shoes, valued at some R40 000, to needy learners attending four selected schools in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.

In Gauteng, the Bank’s donation of some 101 pairs of shoes were distributed by the Al Hasanaat Foundation to identified learners attending Qhakazani Primary School (70 pairs) and Al Hasanaat Foundation (31 pairs). Hakuna Matata co-ordinated the dissemination of 120 pairs of shoes to learners attending Parkfields Primary School in Hanover Park, while the Gift of the Givers Foundation handed out 100 pairs of shoes to learners at Brooklyn Heights Primary School and Gezangane Primary School in the Greater Durban area on behalf of the Bank.

Ms Mohamed said: “We recognise that the need for shoes is massive, and the objective of our shoe drive is to transform the lives of under-privileged learners one pair at a time, ensuring the educational journey of beneficiaries is comfortable, dignified and, above all, successful. 

“Education is integral to our corporate social responsibility programme and by donating shoes to just some of this country’s most deserving young learners makes an incredible difference to their lives and educational journey. This annual initiative is one of a number which reflect our Bank’s unswerving commitment to the betterment of education and support for the needy learners of today.”


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