A civic group and a non-profit organisation have come to the aid of Rosmead Central Primary School.
The school’s well-point pump broke in the middle of February, leaving the sports field and front garden without water. It would have cost R10 000 for the repairs, according to school teacher Anthea La Vita. It was money the low-fee school, which has pupils commuting from Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Philippi, Mitchell’s Plain and Hanover Park, did not have.
That was until James Fernie’s Uthando SA non-profit stepped in. “His Uthando foundation donated the money needed to fix the pump and so keep our sports field in good condition,” said Ms La Vita.
Mr Fernie is director of Uthando SA and chairperson of the Harfield Village Association (HVA), which have both played a key role in supporting the school over the years.
In 2018, the HVA and Uthando SA, with support from businesses, upgraded the sports field with quality green grass.
In 2019, the HVA worked with the Grow Africa Foundation to get funding for AstroTurf for the Grade R pupils to play on (“School gets new AstroTurf playground,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, March 14, 2019).
Improvements to the sports field had been the best thing to happen to the school, said Ms La Vita. “Our pupils are soccer fanatics, and they play cricket and do their physical education lessons on the field.”
Last year, the HVA helped the school sell broken furniture and equipment and buy a lawnmower with the proceeds.
HVA members donated 10 indigenous trees that were planted around the perimeter of the sports field, and the association has helped to maintain the field, the trees and the school’s garden.
Mr Fernie said Uthando SA and HVA had built a strong working relationship with the school since 2014. “It is an amazing school that needs help and support.”
HVA committee member Alison Pathe had spent a lot of time maintaining the school’s garden and sports field, he said.
“My deep desire would be for privileged schools in the southern suburbs and the broader community to assist and support Rosmead Central Primary School in their efforts to improve their facilities so that it can enhance the good quality of the education being provided at the school,” he said.
Principal Rebecca Tono-Nazo thanked the organisations for their support. “With us charging R2600 per year, per pupil… it’s hard for us to maintain our school sports field and gardens,” she said.
It was valuable to build partnerships with those who could add value to the school, she said. “Even before the hard Covid-19 lockdown, I would invite Mr Fernie to the parents, teachers meeting to let them know of the role he plays in the school.”
Ms Pathe said the HVA was now trying to raise money to buy soccer posts for the sports field.
Call the school at 021 671 6502 or email Mr Fernie at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.