Philanthropist, preacher and entrepreneur Prophet Shepherd Bushiri on Wednesday scored big in supporting global education efforts when he celebrated Mandela Day by launching an Africa-wide School Adoption Programme with an estimated $40 000 (K29 million) worth of donations to a local primary school in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Every year on July 18 is Mandela Day — a day declared by the UN in 2009 in honour of Nelson Mandela— and on this day the global community is encouraged to spend 67 minutes doing something good for society in honour of the 67 years that Mandela spent fighting for social justice.
The Malawian-born but South Africa-based Bushiri thought of honouring Mandela, not just by just spending 67 minutes doing charity, but most importantly launching an Africa-wide School Adoption Programme meant to continuously support struggling schools.
The launch—held at a local Kloofwaters Primary School (one of the programme’s beneficiary schools)—was graced by senior government officials from the Education Department, community leaders and the public.
In his speech, Bushiri, quoting Madiba, said ‘education is the most powerful tool you can use to change the society’ and there is no better way one can honour Madiba than by supporting the education of ‘our children’.
While at Kloofwaters, besides adopting the school, Bushiri made instant humanitarian moves to the school estimated at about $40 000.
They, among others, include: donation of uniform packs [a Jersey, long grey pants, long sleeves shirt, grey socks and a pair of black school shoes] for the 173 learners at the school; renovation and repainting all the structures at the school; various chemical and cleaning machines for the toilets; grocery packs for 173 learners; instant nutritious breakfast supply for three months; various food rations and, also, provided professional support to the vegetable garden which meets dietary needs of the learners.
Bushiri further explained that through the Africa-wide School Adoption Programme, ‘selected struggling schools will be adopted and have their every emerging need met’.
“The programme is part of our effort to help our governments meet Goal 4 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2016.
“The goal seeks to ensure that, by 2030, all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes,” he said.
Apart from Kloofwaters in South Africa, three other schools from Kenya, Zambia and Malawi have already been identified as part of the first phase.
Rustenburg inspector of school Julia Sechele hailed Bushiri for the programme, generally, and also, specifically, for reaching out to Kloofwaters Primary School.
She said her programme will go a long way in supporting South Africa’s government goals of education for all and also the global efforts to fulfil goal number 4 of the 17 SDGs.