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LANXESS continues to make a real difference in South Africa through Rally to Read
Corporate sponsorships has raised over R79-million for rural education
Rustenburg – German specialty chemicals company, LANXESS, participated at the North West Rally to Read for the second time as part of its three year sponsorship commitments, this past weekend. The Rally to Read event was organised by Bidvest in association with the READ Educational Trust and McCarthy Motors.
Off-road vehicles departed from Pretoria in the early hours of Saturday, 12 September, to load educational material and resources earmarked for some of Rustenburg’s most remote and neglected schools. These included books, teaching aids, science kits, sports equipment, educational toys and other material – all of which are taken for granted at urban schools.
An educational programme running for 17 years, Rally to Read is a beam of hope to South Africa’s many socio-economic challenges, including providing better education to rural learners, their teachers, their parents and ultimately the communities where unemployment, poverty and crime is prevalent.
“At LANXESS, a commitment to education is considered a keystone of the company’s sustainable corporate policy. The Rally to Read programme, with its focus on education, falls well in line with our global Corporate Responsibility strategy, which supports educational interventions such a
this one”, said Asaph Ngoepe, Social Labour Plan (SLP) Superintendent for LANXESS Chrome Mining, Rustenburg – North West.
The programme has a direct positive impact on the Department of Education’s documented national priorities, including the reduction of illiteracy, developing the professional abilities of the educators, improving school effectiveness while equipping pupils with appropriate skills, especially with regard to maths, science and technology.
The first stop was at Monato Intermediate School, where both learners and sponsors were eager for the delivery of the educational material, packaged in brightly coloured containers that added to the leaners excitement. Expressing their delight, they gave a performance in song to welcome sponsors, parents and community members and later showcased their literacy abilities.
“Today marks the celebration of a one year journey of our three year commitment with our sponsors. For me and my team of educators, parents and member of this community, this is a momentous occasion. You were here last year to launch this programme and t is our pleasure again this year to have you back in our school. We look forward in a bitter sweet 2016, which sadly will be the last year of this partnership” said Mr GM Mabe, Headmaster at Monato Intermediary School.
The next stop was at Boons Secondary School, where educators, learners, parents and community members gathered, tired after a long anticipation of the sponsors’ arrival. On sight of the Rally to Read team the energy returned and in high spirits, they performed a gumboot dance, recited poetry and read to the crowd, before giving the visitors a tour of the school, showcasing the leaners and school’s noticeable progress.
Deputy Headmaster Mr S Thebeila thanked everyone present saying, “Education is like a triangle. Each angle represents a component of education, which are parents, educators and learners. You as parents play an important role in the education of your children. Your presence here today is a demonstration of your commitment in ensuring that education remains a priority in their lives. To the Rally to Read team, I thank you on behalf of the school. The role you play in contributing to the quality of the South African child’s education is a very important one”.
This year’s total contribution of the Rally to Read sponsorship is valued at R837,500 for 12 selected schools within the Rustenburg community.
Read Foundation, the NGO partner in this project, operates as an educator development agency in the field of language, literacy and communication and is a leader in the fields of educational assessment, and materials development and resource provision. They provide frequent guidance, monitoring and evaluation of the programme at the benefiting schools to ensure the material is being fully utilized.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and DJSI Europe) and FTSE4Good.