"Every child has a right to an education and to be given the opportunity to build a brighter future," says Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, director of Mustadafin Foundation.

"Heading into the festive season, we want to share the blessings by giving educational gifts to children in need," adds Johnstone-Cassiem.

The organisation says that in the Western Cape alone, children from low-income communities are faced with numerous challenges including:
  • poverty
  • living without parents or guardians, and
  • suffering from trauma associated with substance abuse and crime.
It adds that the pandemic has made it even more challenging to cope with these family situations, and children are not equipped for school as they cannot afford basic stationery.

"Being prepared for school with the right stationery will offer a better learning experience for a child," says Johnstone-Cassiem. "A better education in a child's early years plays an important role on overall physical and emotional development, setting them up for a better performance throughout their schooling years."

"The Back-to-School Santa Box Drive will give children a head start leading into the new school year," adds Johnstone-Cassiem. "This campaign will run alongside our other campaigns that support children in need."

For the past 35 years, the Mustadafin Foundation has been hosting Christmas lunches for children in many disadvantaged communities around the Western Cape and hosted many drives to provide educational support through uniforms, stationery and subsidising school fees.

"Since the first stationary drive in 2015, Mustadafin have helped 3 000 learners to start off their school year with brand new stationary, thanks to the generosity of Capetonians. Last year amidst the pandemic, we were still able to support 500 learners," says Johnstone-Cassiem.

In 2021 the Mustadafin Foundation is appealing to the public to provide essential stationery for their Back-to-School Santa Box Drive.

Individuals can contribute any of the following stationery items:
  • Pritt glue sticks
  • HB Pencils
  • 2Quire hardcover books
  • pens
  • pencils
  • colour pencils
  • sharpeners
  • flip Files
  • lever Arch Files
  • exam Pads
  • wax crayons
  • koki’s
  • erasers
  • reams of paper
  • highlighters, and
  • 72pg exercise books.
The collection drive runs from Wednesday, 1 December 2021 to Friday, 21 January 2022. Boxes can be dropped off at 154 Antelope Court, Bridgetown, Cape Town. 

For more information, visit www.mustadafin.org.za or contact 021 633 0010. You can also follow the Mustadafin Foundation on Facebook.