Learners at the Olefile Secondary School, which is situated in in the deep rural village of Pitsedisulejang, Moses Kotane Municipality in the North West province, do not often get the opportunity to venture much further than the informal settlement they call home.
A recent Medipost Holdings corporate social investment initiative, however, enabled the Olefile high school students to participate in a soccer and netball challenge at Clapham High School in Pretoria.
Kgomotso Maapola, corporate social investment manager for Medipost Holdings, comprising Medipost Pharmacy, MediLogistics and Kawari Wholesalers, says the school first approached them because the learners desperately wanted to play sports, but could not afford the kits needed. “When they made the request, we knew that we had to get involved.”
Victor Khoza, a pharmaceutical administrator for Medipost Pharmacy, a division of Medipost Holdings, was both the master of ceremonies and the commentator for the sporting events of the day. “I cannot begin to explain how deeply humbled and honoured I feel to have had this opportunity to give of my time to these learners. They taught us more than we could ever teach them through their spirited determination and zest for life, despite the conditions they come from.”
“When Medipost informed us that we had been selected for the initiative, we were over the moon,” says Mr Tefo Makganye, the principal of Olefile Secondary School.
“In February we donated kits for netball, soccer and volleyball. It only seemed natural to then challenge them to play against our staff sports teams in their new sports kits,” explains Rentia Myburgh, sales and marketing director of Medipost Holdings.
“The pupils cannot stop talking about the day. “To put it into perspective, many have never seen an urban city and most never been inside a vehicle for such a long distance,” adds Makganye.
According to him, the school faces many serious socio-economic challenges: “A lot of our children come from homes where poverty is rife. In many cases, these promising youngsters cannot see beyond the confines of their circumstances.”
The day kicked off with the bus ride for the grade 8 to 12 learners from Moses Kotane to the sports grounds of Clapham High School, where the day’s festivities were hosted. After breakfast was served, the learners were welcomed with an inspirational talk from Patricia Mathivha, who is now a pharmacist and owner of Vida Brands (Pty) Ltd which sells Sally Sanitary Pads.
Medipost Holdings partnered with Mathivha on this health and education focused corporate social investment initiative. Mathivha has a deep and fundamental understanding of the challenges faced by children who live in poverty, as she comes from a very similar background.
Khoza says Team Medipost scored 10 – 2 against Olefile in netball, while the two soccer matches were split between the teams. In the first game, Medipost won 6 – 4 and in the second match, Olefile defeated Medipost 3 – 0. A dance-off between the teams saw the learners dancing their way to victory. The day wrapped up with a prize giving where learners received medals and goodie bags with pencil case equipped with stationery for both girls and boys and sanitary pads for the girls to take home.
“The value of this initiative is that these high school learners were not only taught but also shown how much joy an active lifestyle can bring.”
“The incentive and the inspiring speech deeply touched the hearts of everyone who attended. It made the learners aware that the potential to harness educational and employment opportunities is well within their reach if they continue to work hard towards fulfilling their dreams,” Maapola concludes
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Medipost Holdings
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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