This morning, Converse SA made a substantial difference in the lives of 1,500 deskless students in Diepsloot by providing them all with a tool to learn with dignity, but most importantly to learn to their full capabilities – a DeskBag.
Diepsloot Secondary Number 3 school and Diepsloot Combine school have both been in dire need of school desks for a number of years, their students are forced to do their school work on the cold, hard floor or to share a single desk with about five other students at a time. Today, Converse donated nearly half a million rands in DeskBags to these desperate schools.
According to Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga’s parliamentary response, there over 3 million children who do not have school desks and are forced to use the ground as a writing surface. DeskBags is an innovative solution to this South Africa challenge. The Non-Profit Company (NPC) provides hybrid satchels that double as school bags and portable desks when folded open onto the child’s lap. The front flap of the bags is reinforced with ABS plastic, ensuring a hard and stable surface for children to use and to write on while doing their work at school and homework at home.“As a company whose product appeals mostly to the youth market, we strive to partner with initiatives that assist local communities throughout South Africa. In the last few years we have donated nearly 5,000 DeskBags in Gauteng. We love that the initiative allows these millions of deskless students to now learn with dignity,” says Converse Brand and Marketing coordinator, Lee-Anne McKenzie.
Managing Director of DeskBags, Shannon Roscher explains that DeskBags are aimed at enabling underprivileged South African students to have access to basic education tool such as a portable desk allowing them to develop to their fullest potential. The lack of a desk as a writing surface puts these underprivileged learners at an immediate disadvantage as it affects their handwriting, concentration, eye sight and most noticeably, their overall academic performance.
Roscher says the bags were specifically designed to be tough and durable. “They are rugged enough that, when well looked after, can last a pupil many years. They have been constructed using recycled billboard materials making the bags tough and waterproof yet light enough to be carried even by a Grade 0 student. DeskBags are also reflective which make school learners visible when walking along busy roads.”
DeskBags vision succeeds through partnerships. It is only through the support of corporate South Africa, such as Converse SA which enables DeskBags to be deployed to poverty-stricken areas in the sort of quantity that could make a difference in the lives of all these needy students. Bags cost as little as R200.00 each, corporates are encouraged to support needy schools in their areas of operation and can sponsor a class, a grade or preferable an entire school.
For more information about DeskBags and how you can contribute to their efforts, visit www.deskbags.co.za or contact them directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 896 1818.