Community Chest, a non-profit organisation that supports community welfare initiatives, is calling for donations to help raise funds to provide 2 000 pre-schoolers with much-needed rain coats and wellington boots to help prevent high rates of absenteeism from school during winter.
“Winter is the year’s harshest season and thousands of children from Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities don’t attend school because of a lack of basic necessities to keep them dry, warm and fed for the severe winter months,” says Community Chest of the Western Cape CEO Lorenzo Davids.
“The primary objective of the winter readiness campaign is to inspire individuals and businesses to take action to help alleviate the situation of its most vulnerable citizens during the severe winter months.”
Mr Davids said Community Chest wants to encourage people to contribute to a children’s winter survival kit comprising a raincoat and wellington boots at a cost of R350 a kit.
“Our goal is to raise R750 000 so that children from areas such as the Cape Flats, which are prone to flooding, have waterproof clothing to ensure their attendance at pre school this winter,” he said.
“One of our major focus areas is early childhood development, and our research shows that keeping children dry in winter is a big challenge in the Western Cape and a big reason for the high absenteeism figures in the region over the winter months.
“In disadvantaged communities, attendance at pre-school is key as most parents work and need their children to be taken care of while they are at work. Sometimes parents have no choice but to send their kids to school even when they are sick, so it is of utmost importance that they are warm and dry,” said Mr Davids.
* People are also encouraged to drop off wellies, raincoats and warm clothing at the Community Chest offices, at 82 Bree Street. For details, visit www.comchest.org.za