Eastwood Secondary School educates 1,560 learners on a daily basis and is currently the largest school in the Pietermaritzburg area. There are a number of challenges facing the school, including very limited funds to support the high running costs of the large school, the high level of poverty for many of the learners and the threat of substance abuse and teenage pregnancy on many of the young children’s lives. Principal Mr Ramphal and Eastwood Secondary school however are not deterred by obstacles. The school clearly has a strong culture of respect, integrity, responsibility and discipline which is emanated through the behaviour of the learners.
“The shelter came about through Principal Mr Ramphal’s “make things happen” approach” said Trevor Govender of Anderson Engineering. Trevor, heads up Social Responsibility for the company and recalls a number of plea’s from Mr Ramphal to deliver the shelter for the school. “His determination was something we really related to and he earned a great deal of respect from us for his perseverance”, continues Trevor. Both Trevor and the Managing Director of Anderson Engineering, Hans Coertse, were presented with a touching ceremony at the school for the official opening of the shelter. The school choir performed a number of songs and some of the learners addressed Anderson Engineering with heartwarming words of thanks. Hans addressed the learners and inspired them with his stories of the business apprenticeship programme, which has employed many people from the area over the years, through it’s long history of being in business in Maritzburg for over 58 years.
In his handover Mr Ramphal thanked Anderon Engineering for “noticing us, and taking steps to care for and help our community and learners”. He explained how the shelter has already become much more than a place to wait for transport but doubles as an outside breakaway area for projects, classes, choir practice, performance and many other uses. It has become an integral part of the infrastructure of the school.
Hans Coertse concluded by saying “It has been a great privilege to assist the school and to see the impact first hand that the shelter will have on the school and these children’s lives”.