Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone helps school children

Oct 01, 2010

Forty underprivileged children in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands have a new reason to smile as they rise early each morning to dress for school " they all have brand new school clothing, most for the very first time, thanks to Bridgestone South Africa.

Tholile Primary School in Sevenoaks is one of 135 of the country's most remote and needy schools that were visited by Rally to Read earlier this year and Bridgestone, a long time supporter of this unique rural educational initiative, was one of the rally sponsors who raised a total of R6,27 million and delivered books to the schools.

"We discovered this particular small school, which serves an extremely poor community, and were told that many of the pupils did not have school uniforms," said Brad Youens, Bridgestone's general manager in KwaZulu-Natal.

Bridgestone liaised with school principal Lindiwe Gcabashe to establish the exact needs of each child and a bulk order was placed with Gem Clothing in Durban.

Youens and regional office colleagues Anisha Singh and Andreas Dlamini drove up from Durban to present the clothing " a complete uniform for each child consisting of brand new shoes, socks, pants or skirt, shirt, tie and jersey. The gifts came as a complete surprise to the children, who were about to start their school holiday.

"The reaction of the children, many of whom had never owned new clothes before, let alone a new pair of shoes, was of shock and then pure delight that made the gifts all the more worthwhile," commented Youens.

"These children are the future of our country and by making a small contribution to them now, we hope to make a bigger difference to their lives in the long run," said Mandy Lovell, Bridgestone's public relations manager. "Rally to Read is an amazing opportunity to assist with the education of needy school children in the rural areas and we are delighted to be involved in this important initiative year after year."

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Bridgestone South Africa

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