Converse South Africa recently donated almost 3 000 DeskBags to Reshomile Primary School and Musenga Vadzimu Primary School in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. Following last year’s donation of 1 000 DeskBags to Siyazingisa Primary School in Gugulethu township near Cape Town, Converse has maintained their efforts to assist local communities in South Africa.
The DeskBag initiative aims to assist disadvantaged South African children who do not have basic access to school desks. A DeskBag is a hybrid satchel that functions as a school bag, and doubles as a portable desk when folded open. For these students, most of whom live in informal settlements and do not have tables or desks at home, the donation is a God-send. Thanks to Converse’s sponsorship, the students from both Reshomile Primary and Musenga Vadzimu Primary are able to carry their stationery and books in the main compartment of their DeskBag, while the bag’s reinforced flap provides them with much needed desk support at home and at school.
The bags are manufactured from 100% recyclable billboard material and are extremely lightweight, yet strong and sturdy. Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga estimates that over 3.1 million South African students are in desperate need of school desks. DeskBags Managing Director, Shannon Roscher stresses that it is the duty of South African citizens and corporate businesses alike to address this issue. “This problem is not going away, nor is it within the capability of any individual organisation to resolve this massive issue on its own. Our immediate objective is to raise awareness of the desperate need among corporates, as well as to forge sustainable partnerships, especially between the private and public sectors. With the support of corporates such as Converse, we will be able to deploy DeskBags in increasing scale to schools in poverty-stricken areas,” says Roscher. It is the support of corporate sponsors like Converse that is the life-blood behind the DeskBags initiative.
Converse’s donation forms part of the company’s larger commitment to provide 10 000 DeskBags to children across the country. And with a total of close to 4 000 bags donated between this year and last year, they are well on their way. “We are proud to support the DeskBags initiative to help secure a bright educational future for the children of this country,” says Converse Marketing Manager, Claire Conchar. “As a company whose product appeals mostly to the youth market, we strive to partner with initiatives that assist the youth of our local communities. Last year we donated 1 000 DeskBags to Siyazingisa Primary School and made a commitment to follow through again this year. I am thrilled that we will be helping two more schools with a donation of 2 954 DeskBags.”
To assist with the handover of DeskBags to both primary schools, friends of Converse such as Ntokozo Molefe and Chanley Wong were in attendance. Roscher concludes, “We appeal to Corporate South Africa to follow the lead of Converse. Only with such support can we make a real difference in the lives of our needy learners. We know that most corporates already have programmes for uplifting impoverished communities through education.”
For more information, please visit www.deskbags.co.za.