The shortage of facilities such as enough classrooms and the school transportation at St Francis College in Mariannhill could soon be a thing of the past.
Some of the school’s Alumni have pledged to help the school as a way of ploughing back their skills into the community which nurtured and formed them.
The pledges were made during a Breakfast fundraising function held at the school recently. The pledges are seen as a critical step in addressing the school’s shortcomings.
The school’s principal, Mr Jabulani Nzama, said the pledges will address some of the essential needs, such as the construction of additional classrooms and the procurement of a 23 seater school bus.
“We keep inviting them every year to motivate our learners, which they do exceptionally well,” said Mr Nzama. They help guide the learners to remain focused and give them direction in their future careers.
The challenge that the school faced was to get the alumni on board to assist the school in much bigger projects.
Alumni who participated at the fundraising breakfast gathering pledged to assist the school in different ways. One pledged to provide the school with books for a period of four years, while another one promised to provide the school with laptops, also for a period of four years. Another pledged one year free airtime on Durban’s Gagase FM Radio Station, and others promised to help the school by introducing new sporting codes as well as sponsoring the school with sporting kits.
Xolile Mtwa, KwaZulu-Natal Director of Department of Energy and a former pupil of the school said that to realise the planned projects, it is important that all alumni meet and discuss project plans.
“We envisage breaking the projects down in terms of different classes,” said Mtwa. She said, for instance, the class of 1979 had established a trust which is aimed at helping the school in one way or the other.
Br. Crispin Graham, former rector of St Francis College, said that when one considers the number of learners that have passed through St Francis College over the years, one can imagine the tremendous on-going support the College could enjoy if each alumnus pledged a modest amount annually towards general maintenance, necessary improvements and worthwhile developments projects.
“Obviously, it is primarily a matter of communication, networking and an intensive awareness campaign that would have to be undertaken by a group of alumni committed to the task,” Br. Graham said.