Over the last two years, instead of giving corporate gifts to our customers PG Bison has, with their consent, donated the money that would have been spent on those gifts to the charities of their choosing. This year, we would like our gift of giving to go to the Knysna Education Trust.
Why the Knysna Education Trust?
The fires that ravaged Knysna in June caused an estimated loss to municipalities of 496 million rand, and that is not counting private damages. Seven people were killed and at least 1000 houses were destroyed. Amongst all of this havoc schools and pre-schools were also destroyed, and many of the homes belonged to the families of students at these schools. A number of the people in these communities lost everything, and these children are also at risk of not being able to go back to school.
The Knysna Education Trust, at present, supports 63 affiliated community preschools in the Knysna, Sedgefield and Plettenberg Bay area. The Knysna Education Trust has also been featured in a publication brought out by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in South Africa in conjunction with the European Union.
The ACE (Adopt-a-Child’s Education) programme
Our main focus will be for the donation to go into the Adopt-a-Child’s Education programme which, as the name suggests, sponsors a child’s preschool education. Each child who has their education ‘adopted’ will be provided with safety, daily meals and their full year’s paid education. This is important as preschool is a vital foundation of children’s education, and many studies have proven that children who had quality pre-school education went on to do better in school and out of school.
How it works
First, teachers and principals identify the neediest children in their schools and communities, and a Knysna Education Trust fieldworker then verifies that child’s situation. Once the child’s situation has been verified they are eligible for support – however, the entire financial weight is not simply left to donors as parents are required to also pay a small portion of the fees, or to support the school with time and labour.
Once a sponsor’s support is pledged a child in need is allocated to them. The sponsor then receives a photograph of the child along with a description of their history. From there the sponsor receives quarterly updates on the child’s development in all areas, and they have the option to get more involved in their sponsored child’s life or remain anonymous.
This cause makes a lasting impression on the lives and futures of children in need and by extension their communities and even their country. If you would like to join this noble cause in your own capacity, contact the Knysna Education Trust and find out what you can do to make a difference.