Muscular Dystrophy Foundation donates wheelchair

On 28 July 2015, The Muscular Dystophy Research Foundation (MDRF) donated an electric wheelchair to a Sparrow Combined School learner, Philile Shweni. Shweni was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at an early age and has had to depend on a wheelchair to get around. According to Wikipedia, Muscular Dystrophy is a condition that causes one’s muscles gradually to weaken over time. In South Africa, the condition affects 1:1 200 people.

The MDRF visited the Sparrow Combined School in Sophia Town to do the official hand over. “We are very fortunate as human beings, some of us are very fortunate to be able to use our hands and arms. One of our learners, Philile, who also happens to be one of our best learners, finds it difficult to do most tasks because of his condition,” said the Combined School Principal, Mark Cloete. He further adds, “On behalf of Sparrow, we would like to thank the MDRF for this kind gesture.”

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The MDRF was represented by General Manager, Pieter Joubert,who is also affected by MD. He was accompanied by Occupational Therapist, Erica Gerthsen and Fundraiser, Braam Roux. “There are 1200 people in South Africa affected by this condition. We at MDRF understand what Philile and others are going through and that is why we go out of our way to land a helping hand. We understand that not everyone can afford these wheelchairs as they are very expensive,” Joubert explains.

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Philile’s sister, Phumla Shweni, was also there to witness the handover and was evidently overwhelmed with joy; you could sense the relief in her voice as she spoke. “I’m so grateful and happy for him, it has been very difficult for us at home because he could not do most things on his own. The wheelchair is definitely going to help us and him,” Phumla said.

According to WEB MD, there is still no cure for any form of Muscular Distrophy, but medications and therapy can slow the course of the disease. There are currently research projects that are working on a cure for the disease.  The Department of Health has dedicated the month of September to raising awareness around the disease. Wear a lime green ribbon to show your support.

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Sparrow Schools enjoys Madiba’s spirit

Every July 18, the world comes together to celebrate the late icon, Nelson Mandela’s birthday by committing 67 Minutes to doing good deeds. Our Foundation School in Melville and our High Schools in Sophiatown welcomed the support of Hollard Insurance, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Virgin Active Milpark for their 67 Minutes Mandela Day helps.

Hollard team hard at work

Hollard team hard at work

The Day kicked off at the Foundation School with an opening statement by the TNPA, organising committee member, Sizwe Msila. “Today will evoke a sense of consciousness in all of us,” Msila said before handing the floor to TNPA’s Acting CEO Nico Walters. “As a corporate, part of our role is to give back to the community. It is truly a privilege for Transnet to be a part of something like this. We would like to thank the school for giving us this opportunity. Let us do our work today, in Madiba’s spirit,” Walters said.

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The Foundation School Principal, Vanessa Brodrick, also took to the podium to welcome the guests. “These kinds of initiatives and helping hands allow us to enhance our strategies and allow for our continual development in challenging our learners to make a success of their lives. We thank you for the growing interest in our school as a whole and your incredible friendship. In South Africa we embrace the spirit of UBUNTU and today we extend that courtesy to you,” Brodrick said as she closed the opening.

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TNPA contributed R40 000 towards refurbishing our Foundation School Facilities. The parastatal brought a team of 50 and they were split into four different groups to carry out their different projects. The teams spent the day painting toilets, installing new taps and a ceiling at the Foundation Schools’ hall.

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Meanwhile Hollard and Virgin Active were hard at work cleaning up at the Combined School. Both teams were happy to get their hands dirty as they cleaned up the skip waste area as well as the compost and gardening area. Their commitment to the Madiba spirit was evident as they strived to meet the needs of the organization in keeping the grounds beautiful and litter free.

All three companies did a stellar job with a wonderful attitude of wanting to give back and General Manager, Jackie Gallagher, had nothing but good things to say. “Thank you for giving of yourselves in such a wonderful way today. I really hope that you can find the time to come back and see the impact that that you have made in our children’s lives,” Gallagher said.

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Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund turns 20

On 10 July 2015, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) hosted their annual Children’s Celebration at their foundation in Johannesburg. The celebration commemorated the great statesman’s life and legacy by celebrating the very beings he devoted his life to protecting.  The theme was “there is a hero in every child”, with the aim of recognising every Childs ‘uniqueness and talent.

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The event brought children from different primary schools across Gauteng together to celebrate the funds’ 20 years anniversary. Founded in 1995, the NMFC is the brainchild of the late Dr Nelson Mandela which was inspired by his love for children and his desire to end their suffering.

The ceremony kicked off with breakfast at 9:00am and it was all fun and games thereafter.  The children had the opportunity to enjoy themselves indulging in various activities. The young heroes were awarded the platform to showcase their skills through song and dance. Former Sparrow Foundation School learner, Ashley Magutshwa, was among the performers of the day and gave a stellar ballet performance, much to the audience’s delight.

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The day was also an opportunity for various non-governmental organisations including Sparrow Schools to carry out exhibitions for their different causes. Among the public figures in attendance were musicians Simphiwe Dana, Kabomo, Muzarts’Rorisang Thandekiso and Bafana Bafana Coach Shakes Mashaba.

Simphiwe Dana and Shakes Mashaba. Souce: Simphiwe's Twitter

Simphiwe Dana and Shakes Mashaba. Source: Simphiwe’s Twitter

After show time, everybody was invited to lunch before indulging in two large birthday cakes enough to feed the nation. The ceremony concluded at 2:00pm and all thanks goes to all the sponsors including Pick’n Pay, Oral B, and emergency medical service ER24, who made it all possible.

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Muzarts’ lead singer Rorisang Thandekiso

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Spend your 67 minutes with Sparrow Schools

Spend your 67 minutes for Madiba with Sparrow Schools and you can help inspire action and change lives. Be the change that you want to see and choose a project to adopt. Help improve facilities with a coat of paint or better yet, convert your minutes to Madibas.

See projects you or your organisation can adopt below.

 The Foundation School School

Painting and face lift of the entrance to our school which includes:

  • Ceiling @ R 2 000.67
  • Electrical repairs @ R 1 000.00
  • Outside clean up @ R 2 000.67
  • Hall doors to be replaced @ R 3 000.00
  • Installation of display boards in the Hall @ R 2 000.67
  • Paving to the entrance of the school @ R 67 000.00
  • Refurbish doors and handrails @ R 670.00
  • Painting in Classrooms @ R 3110
  • Picket Fence to be painted @ R 4 670.00
  • Quad area garden needs to be revamped @ R 2000.00
  • Door painting x8 doors @ R 6700.00
  • Gardening – R 670.00 per group x 4 groups, R 2680.00
  • Installation of a Flags and Flagpoles at our School x2 @ R 6700 each

The Combined School

Revamping of the Teachers meeting Room & Computer room:

  • Painting of the walls in both rooms
  • New Blinds

All for: R 914.00

  • Revamping the HOD’s offices x2
  • Painting of the walls in both rooms
  • Office Chairs x4

All for: R 6 700.00

The FET College

Window Sills repainting

  • All window seals to be repainted =R 6700
  • Boys and girls toilet to be revamped
  • Both toilets to be repainted
  • X4 Mirrors to be installed

All for: R 6 700

For more information contact Precious Mbele on 011 482 1015 or email: preciousmbele@sparrowschools.co.za

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Spar program overview

“Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration, as we need an entire army of companies to work together to build a better world within the next few decades. This means corporations must embrace the benefits of cooperating with one another,” Simon Mainwaring.

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Through partnership with industry, Sparrow FET College continues to make great strides in ensuring that its vision and mission of equipping youth with skills is realised. The FET College strives to build strong partnerships with members and representatives from various industries.

Through these partnerships, the College is able to offer bursary programs and learnership opportunities to students who would normally not be able to further their education.

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On 24 June 2015, The FET College hosted Store Supervisors and managers from various Spar outlets across the country for a Professional Cookery program overview. The program is designed to provide SPAR with a recruitment pool of suitably trained youth; the program trains the student towards the completion of the Professional Cookery @ NQF level 4.

The day kicked off with the visitors being served welcome drinks and canapés by the students. Job Coach, Mary Webber, then proceeded to the nitty gritty’s of the whole purpose of the session, going through logbooks, clarifying roles of both the supervisors, managers and the students._DSC0209

From there, the visitors got an opportunity to meet and interact with the Professional Cookery students. The students also got the opportunity to showcase their skills and treated the visitors to lunch prepared by them.

The relationship between the College and Spar continues to enjoy much success with the Assistance Chef program achieving a 69% employment rate. The success of the College’s vision and mission to provide young South Africans with a livelihood relies on these sorts of partnerships. These kinds of collaborative initiatives provide an opportunity to improve the lives of dis-empowered young South Africans. They contribute to the larger objective of uplifting the country’s economy and the well-being of those marginalized in our society.

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