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Iphepha helping one pencil at a time

The newly established NGO Iphepha for Pupils provides stationery to underprivileged children whose quality of education is threatened or vulnerable due to limited access to goods – or none at all.

The independent, registered non-profit organisation operates without government funding and is entirely dependent on donations, contributions and aid from local businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals.

Work is done by volunteers and all funds donated or generated go towards relieving the burden of worried and concerned parents and learners.

Iphepha, the Zulu word for paper, is the brainchild of well-known and respected Somerset West-based psychologist Heloise Breytenbach-Uys.

“Iphepha for Pupils started off as an idea to help domestic workers pay for their children’s stationery,” she said.

“In one week I was approached by three women who were very worried about their lack of funds to buy the necessary stationery for their children to start the new school year.

“The 16-year-old daughter of one of them was sent home on the first day of school because she did not have all the stationery on the list.”

It came to Breytenbach-Uys’ attention that the dire need for essential stationery is critical in some communities. The current estimated projected budget for a learner’s stationery supplies is approximately R600 per annum.

“Iphepha for Pupils wants to help parents in need by providing stationery for schoolchildren,” she said. “We want to support pupils to focus on their work, by making sure they have the necessary stationery.”

The organisation is in need of financial or stationery contributions. Stationery contributions can be in the form of new or used stationery.

Used stationery is cleaned and packed by volunteers and distributed to those in need. The list of stationery needed includes, but is not limited to, the following items: wax crayons, retractable crayons, colouring pencils, HB pencils, pencil sharpeners, rubber erasers, 30 cm rulers, staplers and staples, colouring books, glue sticks, scissors, calculators (solar, not battery), ballpoint pens, pacer pencils and lead paper clips, watercolour paint and brushes, exercise books, notebooks art paper, coloured paper, plain or printer A4 paper.

Any contributions will be greatly appreciated and without the generosity of the public it would be impossible to work towards the vision in which all learners have the opportunity to advance without being vulnerable to their socio-economic circumstances.

“Our vision is to invest in the education of young people by making their learning experience more positive and their school work less stressful,” Breytenbach-Uys said.

V Should you wish to contribute in any way, please contact her on 082 783 9257 or send an email to Iphephapupils@gmail.com.

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