During Youth Month, a large focus for many is improving access to education and, consequently, the future of South African youth. Yet, there is another vital side to this that could make these efforts almost futile. We also need to increase access to basic necessities that make it possible to excel once the youth have access to education.

The team at Legratron Electronics identified this essential need and started a ‘school shoe drive.’ The managing director of Legratron Electronics, Itumeleng Matshego, explains: “Education is very close to the heart of Legratron and we want to invest in education but with a drive that will genuinely make a difference in the lives of the learners within our community. In a way, that is often overlooked.

“We looked around our community and saw that many children go to school barefoot. We want to bring dignity and fulfil a basic need for the learners, especially during the cold winter months. It also happens to be Youth Month when we should be ensuring we create opportunities for our future leaders.”

This initiative is one that Legratron Electronics has been driving for many years. “Every year Legratron adopts a primary school around Sebokeng, in the Vaal Triangle, and donates school shoes to kids in need of shoes. The school identifies the shoe sizes of learners that don’t have and we then hand over the required shoes to the school.

“We would not be able to do this without our clients and we challenge corporates to get involved with our shoe drive. For every customer that signs up with Legratron for the financial year, we use a percentage of each customer’s contract to donate towards the school shoe donation program,” explains Matshego. 

The Legratron team never wants a child to give up on their education opportunities because they are ashamed or too cold to make the most of that opportunity. “The youth are naturally self-aware of themselves and their surroundings.

“If they feel like they don’t fit or see themselves as outcasts because of their appearance, this discourages them at an early stage of their education and will have severe drawbacks on their future. It can affect motivation to attend school and concentration and participation.”

Many of us take something as simple as owning a pair of shoes for granted. “Yet thousands of learners in South Africa go to school barefoot, even in winter. Providing a pair to a deserving child can make a world of a difference in their life. This is why we have our annual school shoe donation program.

“If you would like to be part of this worthy initiative as a corporate or individual, we welcome you. It is through you, our valued clients and community, that we can donate a pair of school shoes on your behalf to learners in our community. Please do not hesitate to contact us to find out how to get involved,” urges Matshego.

SOURCE: Samantha Greathead