by Saru

SA Springboks give back

SARU opens a library in Soweto

SARU gives back
Boks for books add new library

The South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) major Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative to supply fully-stocked mobile or refurbished libraries to previously disadvantaged schools, opened another library at the Sekwati Primary School, Soweto.

Springbok centre Juan de Jongh and Springbok Sevens star Seabelo Senatla accompanied SARU president, Oregan Hoskins, to the Boks for Books handover event in the heart of Soweto, Johannesburg.

The occasion was also attended by senior government officials from the Department of Basic Education, sponsor representatives and the media. Since the launch, libraries have been opened in East London and Pinetown.

Boks for Books is SARU’s first venture into CSI and was born out of a desire to make a different contribution to South African society. South Africa currently holds approximately 12.3 million learners, although only 8% of these public schools have functional libraries.

Mr Hoskins performed the official opening of the library together with rugby stars De Jongh and Senatla, as well as Deputy Minister of Basic Education Mr Mohamed Enver Surty. SARU Deputy President Mark Alexander and Ms. Mama Kekesi, a local Member of Parliament, were also in attendance.

An unused classroom has been refurbished into a fully-functional school library sporting an automated library system, computer, audio visual equipment and a television, as well as a supply of books.

This was made possible through the Boks for Books initiative in partnership with ABSA and the Non-Profit Organisation Blue Groove Africa, who are the project rollout partners.

Sekwati Primary School has an enrolment of 220 learners, covering Grade R through to Grade 7.

In his brief speech, Deputy Minister Surty applauded SARU for their contribution in education.

He said: “As a sporting federation, SARU has not only made us proud with their winning ways on the field and uniting the nation through the successes of the Springboks, but also by contributing to a very worthy cause. I have no doubt that the Boks for Books initiative will make a lasting impression and contribution to many young people’s lives across our beautiful country.”

Mr Hoskins said he hoped that the library would have a lasting and positive impact not only the school and the learners, but also the surrounding communities. The two players then shared their reading experiences with the excited primary school learners.

“Literacy is essential for acquiring skills and knowledge, and those who can read are usually in a position to make a very meaningful contribution to the their respective communities,” said Mr Hoskins.

He added: “I am therefore excited and extremely proud that SARU can, through Boks for Books, make a small but meaningful contribution to the South African society.”

Craig van Niekerk, Absa Group Sponsorship Manager, said in his reaction: “We are committed to enabling change in all communities and therefore would like to thank our partner, the South African Rugby Union, for allowing us to be part of this exciting initiative.”

“We believe this aligns with our Citizenship agenda, where we forge partnerships with all stakeholders and communities, which will ultimately allow our country to prosper. We trust that our combined contribution will go some way to assist in moulding our learners to be leaders of tomorrow while teaching children to embrace the joy of education and the written word,” according to Mr Van Niekerk.


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