Supporting education in South Africa

At Balfour Primary School in South Africa, the Blue Skies Foundation is helping to fill a gap, says Mr. Pole, principle of the school. The government is supporting the school with food through its school feeding programme. However, in the past many children remained hungry and the food was wasted, because the school had no equipped kitchen to prepare meals for more than 1,000 children every day. In 2013, the Foundation upgraded the kitchen facilities with stoves, refrigerator, cupboards and other supplies. Mr. Pole recalls how such a small change has made a big difference for the children. Attendance rates have increased. The school is growing in popularity, not least because the children are well fed. The jungle gym, also provided by the Foundation, increases motor skills and fosters team spirit and motivation. Teachers can also detect motor deficiencies or disabilities at an early stage. According to Mr. Pole, Blue Skies is the only local company that supports the community in solving basic challenges around education and health. With 500 hundred employees at peak season, it is one of the biggest employers in the area.

Learners queuing for their meals at the newly renovated kitchen

Mme Langa's Story

For many children in Balfour, computers are still a luxury that they have never used before. But nowadays jobs that do not involve computers are rare. “We had to teach Computer Application Technology without functioning computers. Consequently, our students’ test results used to be very low.” Mme Langa, the computer science teacher at Balfour secondary school explains. She was the teacher who took the initiative to apply for Blue Skies funding. The school had a long history of asking other companies for help, but never got a positive response before. After the Foundation established the PC centre, test results jumped to a record high and have since remained there. All computers are regularly checked and updated. Being the only such institution in the district, it is multifunctional. Children use it to apply online for college, teachers hold workshops and the community is taking computer classes. We are very happy with the PC Centre, Mme Langa says.

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