Rural School Receives Remarkable Uplift

Private Sector Champions Propel Rural School's Spectacular Transformation

DonorGrowthpoint Properties & Investec

RecipientFerndale Rural Primary School

Twelve months ago, the children at The Ferndale Primary School in the small town of Morgan Bay in the Eastern Cape were struggling with no running water, pit latrines and a collapsing school roof.

Fast forward 10 months and thanks to the support and commitment from Investec, Growthpoint, The Investec Great Kei Trek and The Leverage Corporation, the school is slowly transforming and becoming a beacon of hope for the community. The generous contributions, which are being run through the Bridge-It Foundation, are being used to slowly upgrade facilities.

To date many of the school areas have been cleaned up including the school’s aging and unsafe roof that has been replaced, the school has been fenced, bricked toilet facilities have been created and critical plumbing and toilet facilities have been installed guaranteeing a clean and hygienic environment for the students and generally a safer and more conducive learning environment for the children.

Rob Jackson founder of the Investec Great Kei Trek and co-ordinator of the project extends his special thanks in addition to Splashworks for the essential sanitation upgrades and to Afrika Tanks who have ensured a reliable water supply for the newly constructed toilets. “Our next step is securing paint so we can repaint the classrooms. None of this could have been accomplished without the generous support of Growthpoint Properties and Investec, who have played a crucial role in making these projects possible,” he says.

The project has also created much-needed employment opportunities in the area for smaller local contractors who have been involved in the transformation. “For any project of this nature we believe it is critical to try and involve the local community as much as possible and garner their buy in and support,” notes Jackson. This is the second project the team has been involved in. In 2022 over R150,000 was raised and pledged to the Ixgara Creche in the Morgan Bay township significantly contributing to the development of children aged 3 to 6. “Once we have finished with our current project we will be identifying further schools, community centres, and sporting facilities in the area that we would like to improve.

It takes time, dedication, and the support of sponsors, donors, and concerned individuals to make this happen and we welcome any other corporates or individuals who would like to pledge either their time, supplies or make a financial contribution.” All of these projects also need ongoing maintenance. The Ferndale school for example is now on a septic system and urgently needs donations of toilet paper and cleaning agents to ensure the long-term cleanliness and functionality of their facilities. “Savemore in Kei Mouth has generously set up a donation basket, making it easy for community members to contribute.

For those willing to make an even greater impact, donations of cleaning materials such as brooms, buckets, and cloths are also welcomed. Every contribution, no matter how small, plays a vital role in supporting the school and its students,” says Jackson. Any local residents who would like to visit the school are welcome to co-ordinate a visit by making an appointment with the Foundation.