By Al Qalam Reporter
Fifty five pupils of the Masakhane Girls School – a Muslim girls’ boarding school in the lush green hills close to Hazelmere Dam – have just had their school fees covered for another year to a tune of R1.5-million, thanks to a donation by the South African National Zakaah Fund (SANZAF) and the Willowton Oil Group.
The objective is to provide top grade education that will help lift them and their families from the depths of poverty.
Husein Asmal, General Manager of SANZAF told Al Qalam that the school was established to provide top class educational opportunities to the female learners that will help give them a better life.
“Despite the school’s annual government subsidy by the Department of Education, securing ongoing funding to meet the ideals of this bold vision is always a challenge. The institution is dependent on donations and philanthropy of well-meaning individuals and organisations. By all accounts in today’s poor economic climate, these resources remain an uncertainty. So, the Masakhane Girls School is often not able to meet the requirements of proper upkeep and technological advances for lack of a sustainable budget.
“Admittedly, the Masakhane Girls School falls short in the high standards, amenities and infra-structure that other private and ex model ‘C’ schools enjoy in the city. Learners who attend this school, in more ways than one, also come from very disadvantaged humble backgrounds,” he added.
He pointed out that most learners come from single parent families with little or no financial resources.
“Parents’ themselves have grown up in poverty and have little hope in their future. Many families are headed by grandparents who are poor, illiterate, aged and are dependent on their monthly social grants. Some learners are orphans, some are abandoned and yet others have elected to hand-over their children for foster care.
“Indeed, at the Masakhane Girls School, most parents and guardians are struggling financially to make ends meet and are not able to pay school fees. Amazingly and despite overwhelming financial woes, the Masakhane Girls School persists and does not enforce the payment of school fees.
SANZAF Durban and the Willowton Oil Group stepped-in to help fix several of the challenges that the school and learners face by paying the equivalent of fees for fifty five (55) grade 10, 11, and 12 learners.
Asmal said the objective was to create “a serious learning environment for learners to thrive, progress and find their place in the community.”
“We are making an investment in the lives of our future leaders,” he added.