LIMPOPO – The Vodacom Foundation in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Nelson Mandela Foundation, UN Women and Global Citizen, showcased a new education ecosystem at the Divhani Community Crèche and Frank Ravele Secondary School in Vhembe District, Limpopo, today. Through the new ecosystem, Vodacom Foundation will define a comprehensive model of support and corporate social investment in local communities by supporting education from childhood to adulthood and leveraging technological innovations to develop the skills that we need now and into the future.
The new ecosystem will see Vodacom intensify its support to its already established 12 schools of excellence, identified in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, and the 15 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres Vodacom committed to upgrading over a period of three years. This forms part of Vodacom’s commitment to bring about quality education for previously disadvantaged communities.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group commented: “Big corporates such as Vodacom exist as a part of society that is dogged by high levels of inequality and poverty. Therefore it is our obligation to partner with the government and non-governmental organisations to come up with solutions to deal with some of the socio-economic problems plaguing our society today. Our new education ecosystem can be located within the context where we are using our expertise in ICTs to come up with modern solutions to assist the government to achieve its vision and key priorities.”
“Through our education ecosystem, we will be addressing many of the socio-economic challenges faced by communities. In many of the marginalized and rural communities, educational institutions and facilities are poorly resourced, the infrastructure is falling apart, and there is no access to technology or any other educational resources. In the Vodacom supported communities, we will be working in partnership with government, civil society and the communities to ensure that we address some of these challenges.”
The Divhani Community Crèche is one of the 15 ECD centres chosen for upgrade and renovation, and Vodacom has extended assistance to its sister Primary School and added it to the education ecosystem in Limpopo, alongside the Frank Ravele Secondary School covering each phase of educational development.
Vodacom upgraded the infrastructure of the crèche, eradicating pit latrines and replacing it with the appropriate sanitation and a borehole, as well as installing a trolley solution with tablet devices as part of a mobile library. Divhani Primary School and the Frank Ravele Secondary School’s pit latrines were also replaced with proper sanitation.
Vodacom also provided the Frank Ravele Secondary School with a fully equipped and connected computer lab, fitted with 60 computers and connectivity. The company performed upgrades in the school infrastructure, including eradicating the pit latrine and replacing it with proper sanitation, installing security systems at the school and replacing broken windows and doors and fixing collapsed ceilings.
The secondary school forms part of Vodacom Schools of Excellence, a concept that is framed and aligned to the education definition that view these as schools that promote and support academic excellence, thus enabling quality education for the previously disadvantaged communities.
“We do all this because we believe in sustainable education system and good quality education using ICTs. We believe computer labs will facilitate the creation not only of a reading nation but a digitally literate nation. We appeal to the parents and community led by the chief to help us to safeguard all the facilities. These are your facilities - not just Vodacom facilities or Vodacom supported facilities,” concluded Netshitenzhe.
From L-R: Mr Shumani Ravhaunzwo (Senior manager: Education District), Mrs N. Nduvheni (Circuit manager), Mr Enver Surty (Deputy Minister for Department of Basic Education), Takalani Netshitenzhe (Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group), Chief Ravele of Mauluma, Chebet Chikumbu (Director Global Citizen SA) and Sello Hatang (CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation) and Mr Solly Mabusela (Chief Director: Limpopo Department of Education)