Converse SA recently made a difference in the lives of the students from Isiboniso Primary School in Orange Farm by donating DeskBags to the entire school.
The donation is enabling the youth to learn with dignity, by providing them with one of the most basic educational tools – the comfort of a desk through DeskBags.
The Non-Profit Company (NPC), DeskBags, provides hybrid satchels that double as school bags and portable desks when folded open onto the child’s lap. The front flap of the bag is reinforced with ABS plastic, ensuring a hard, durable and stable surface for children to write on while doing their work at school and homework at home.
The NPC was borne after becoming aware of Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga’s parliamentary response that there over 3 million South African children who do not have school desks and are forced to use the ground or their laps as a writing surface. DeskBags is an innovative solution to this educational challenge.
“As a company whose product appeals mostly to the youth market, we strive to partner with initiatives that assist local communities throughout South Africa. Last year we donated almost 3000 Deskbags to Reshomile Primary School and Musenga Vadzimu Primary School in Diepsloot, Johannesburg and made a commitment to do it again this year. I am thrilled that we will be helping more schools this year with a donation of 3000 bags this year,” says Converse Head of Marketing, Claire Conchar.
Managing Director of DeskBags, Shannon Roscher explains that DeskBags are aimed at enabling underprivileged South African students to have access to the most basic education tools such as a portable desk which will allow them to develop to their full potential. The lack of 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.
“DeskBags are constructed from recycled vinyl billboard materials making the bags robust and waterproof yet light enough to be carried by even a Grade 0 student. The bags are so hardy that when looked after well, can last a pupil many years. They are also reflective which make school learners visible when walking along busy roads, reducing potential pedestrian accidents and road fatalities.”
DeskBags’ vision succeeds through partnerships. It is only through the support of corporate South Africa, such as Converse SA, who cover the production charges of the satchels, that DeskBags can be deployed to poverty-stricken areas in quantities that make a real and remarkable difference in needy communities.
As DeskBags only cost R200 each, corporates are encouraged to support needy schools in their specific areas of operation or in the feeder communities that majority of their staff members come from. Any company big or small can get involved by either sponsoring a school, a grade, or a class to help make a difference in South Africa’s educational struggles.