There was huge excitement at the newly built Leap 4 Science and Maths School when Breadline Africa arrived to officially hand over a container kitchen which we placed on-site during the six-week long summer school holiday in December/January. The completion of this project – in record time – was particularly exciting for the Breadline Africa team. In November 2019, we sent out an urgent email appeal to our donors to ask for assistance with this project. We were overwhelmed by the response!
For the past eight years, the school has operated out of a converted warehouse in Diepsloot. The placement of a kitchen at the new Leap 4 campus was the culmination of several years of infrastructure development and the final obstacle that was preventing teachers and learners from occupying their new premises.
At the handover celebration, Diane Laugksch, Breadline Africa’s Strategic Partnerships Manager, thanked all donors for coming together and for making it possible for the 254 learners to start the 2020 academic year in an environment that was now suitably equipped for effective teaching and learning to take place.
School Principal, Mr James Malope, said that “many of the learners come from financially disadvantaged homes and often the only meal of the day is provided by the school”. All 254 learners receive two meals a day. He added that “for children to perform at their best, they need to be taken care of holistically, so going to class with an empty stomach was not an option for the school”. The school’s feeding programme is supported by The Lunchbox Fund, a Cape Town based charity – and new Breadline Africa partner – that collaborates with government and non-government stakeholders to ensure that childcare, stimulation, education and nutrition are stacked alongside one another to support children’s health, development and learning.
Leap 4 is one of six Science and Maths schools in South Africa that ‘provide free education to learners from high-need communities and have mathematics, physical science and English as mandatory subjects. The school day is extended to nine hours at all Leap schools and Saturday classes and school formal holiday programmes are integrated into the learning programme. Every Leap school is partnered with a more privileged school as well as other township schools in the community that the school serves. This three-way collaboration creates opportunities to share excellence and resources across all spheres’.
We wish Mr Malope and his team well as they embark on another year and we hope that the new kitchen container will make life easier for the school feeding programme co-ordinators and learners!