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City teacher’s gift ‘leaves a legacy’

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Masechaba Josephine Mosiane's gift of shoes sparks a nationwide campaign

SHINING STAR: Masechaba Josephine Mosiane, a Grade 5 teacher at Letshego Primary School donated school shoes to all the children in her class, which she funded herself as she has seen a need by some of the children.

THE spirit of giving runs strong in our nation’s veins.

A recent feel-good story of a Northern Cape teacher who bought her class 40 pairs of shoes as part of her 67 Minutes for Mandela contribution is testament that Ubuntu is an innate part of our culture.

“When I bought the 40 pairs of shoes from Bata, they gave me an additional 10 pairs which I could hand out to other needy children,” Masechaba Josephine Mosiane told Independent Media.

And now school footwear brand Toughees, owned by Bata SA, is also doing its bit in the spirit of Ubuntu.

Bata is calling on the SA public to identify 67 schools around the country who are in desperate need of school shoes. The public can recommend their school via the Toughees Facebook Page using the hashtag #Bata67Steps.

The woman behind the project is Swastika Juggernath, who says their goal is to assist 4489 pupils from around the country.

“One of my core functions is to oversee the Bata Children’s Programme South Africa. We have identified four key areas of development for children where we can make a difference: education, health and safety, living in a sustainable world and mentoring skills,” says Juggernath.

This year they chose to champion one of the causes that was close to Mandela’s heart – children and education. “What better way than to ensure that a child gets to school in a durable pair of shoes!”

Struck a chord

The #Bata67Steps campaign seems to have struck a chord with Facebook users, with communities and parents coming on board. Juggernath also notes that there have been over 10K views on their video, punted across various social media platforms.

“The campaign that we are embarking on is more than just putting shoes on feet,” said Khutjo Madisha, Toughees brand manager.

“It’s about giving children their pride back and giving them confidence to achieve their dreams.”

No one knows this better than Mosiane. A teacher for more than 30 years, Mosiane had to see her pupils brave cold, wet weather with broken or no shoes. “It is very painful as a teacher to watch as children come to school barefoot or with broken shoes, or clothes that are dirty or torn and without a uniform,” she said.

The footwear giant can only assist fewer than
5 000 pupils. So, how will they choose the schools that will benefit from the campaign?

“We have asked the South African public to nominate schools which they think are deserving of 67 pairs of shoes. We will then look at those nominations and award the schools who will benefit according to the needs of the children who require a pair of shoes the most,” explains Juggernath.

Punting the campaign on social media should reach a wider audience, but she admits it’s still early days: “Once we have received all the nominations, we will be in a better position to comment on the impact of this campaign.”

Meanwhile, you can nominate your school via the Toughees Facebook Page using the hashtag #Bata67Steps.Visit www.bata.co.za for more information.