The pure delight on the faces of the children at Generaal Nicolaas Smit Primary School in Claremont, Pretoria, when a group of animated characters came to visit on Friday 2 June, was simply priceless.
As part of an outreach project to the school, Media in Africa staff members dressed up as popular characters, and prepared a magical showcase that had the little ones shrieking with joy and trembling with excitement. Princess Cinderella read them an inspiring story and afterwards they were treated with sweetie packs and cold drinks.

But fun wasn’t all to be had. In the weeks leading up to the Special day, the Media in Africans teamed up to collect books and blankets, and raise funds. The staff reached out to their personal networks, businesses and even pleaded the cause on Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels initiative. And the response was overwhelming.

Thanks to the generous contributions from several companies, organisations and individuals, close to 4 000 books, reading corners, 300 blankets and a cheque of R28 000 were handed over to the school. A donation of R16 000 in dry goods was also made.

Why this school?
Media in Africa works closely with the Eleos Mercy in Action non-profit organisation (NPO), which assists underprivileged children and families in Pretoria West, and Generaal Nicolaas Smit Primary School in Claremont, Pretoria, forms part of their network.

The school has 1 340 children from Grade RR to Grade 7, which half can contribute to the school fund that supports the other half. Many of the children receive two meals per day at school and some even take food parcels home. The school has also started a fund to remove certain children out of their circumstances and accommodate them in boarding houses. What’s more, members of the community are supported with clothes and other necessities at the school.

“Under the leadership of principal Chris Sealie, the school is making an incredible impact in the area,” says Liezel van der Merwe, managing director at Media in Africa. “For Chris it is all about the bigger picture and he doesn’t hesitate to reach beyond his school to make a difference and uplift the community.”

Heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors:
•    Round Table Pretoria 19, who, through their High Five project, with the support of Food Lovers Market in the Gateway Centre, Centurion, donated eight trolleys with almost R16 000 worth of groceries.
•    Macmillan Education South Africa, who donated a reading trolley with 350 books, a Grade R reading corner with books and accessories, as well as a further 3 000 books.
•    Penguin Random House (books).
•    Lapa Uitgewers (books).
•    Struik Christian Media (books).
•    CUM Books (books).
•    Caring Daisies (50 blankets).
•    Business Print (Barbie magazines).
•    Sizabantu Piping Systems (100 blankets).
•    Guvon Hotels & Spas, who sponsored a weekend away for the fundraising auction.
•    INOAR Professional SA, who sponsored haircare products for the fundraising auction.
•    All the individuals who raised cash personally and everyone who contributed.

If you would like to support or get involved with the school, please contact Chris Sealie on 082 371 7933.

For Eleos 012 809 0814 or www.eleos.co.za