Employees of Tata International in Africa in partnership with Valued Citizens Initiative (VCI) donated mathematic guides, dictionaries, encyclopedia’s and motivational books to Grade 12 learners from Alexandra High School in Alexandra, Gauteng on Thursday 11 July.
The donation of books forms part of a two-year Bridging for Life programme supported by TATA and managed through VCI. The aim of the programme is to impart essential life skills to the learners, which range from emotional intelligence, effective communication, self-leadership and management, career development, citizenship education to ensure academic resilience.
The day included a workshop by South African artist, Daniel Selibe who introduced the learners to visual art and discussed with them the meaning of art and expression, the symbolism of colours, signs and symbols, including focal points and perspectives. Learners were encouraged to share and interpret, visually with their classmates and visitors, what the theme ‘opening your mind’ means to them.
CEO of TATA Africa Holdings, Len Brand attended the handover and shared with the learners some of his life lessons and encouraged them to become avid readers. “You determine your own future in life and we must not allow our brains to limit our ability to reach our full potential,” was his message.
“It is important as an organisation to touch base with communities. Our philosophy to promote social and economic development of local communities through education, entrepreneurship and health initiatives is a key component of the TATA business values and belief system,” he added.
Alexandra High School is one of the largest schools in Alexandra and is led by principal, Mrs. Zoleka Lebelo who seeks to serve the Alexandra community by providing a consistently high standard of education. Under her leadership the school has achieved a matric pass rate of 89% up from 83% in 2014.
“We are grateful to TATA for the valuable donation. The Bridging for Life programme has made a significant difference in the lives of our learners. It has helped them to achieve better results and has increased their self-esteem. We hope for a sustained partnership with TATA going forward because an investment in education and a learner is an investment in the country,” she said.
The Bridging for Life Programme is managed by Valued Citizens Initiative, an NGO founded by Carole Podetti Ngono in 2001 with the aim of developing citizenship education in public schools. It is accredited by the Gauteng department of higher education and has been supported by TATA at Alex High School since its inception in 2017. The programme has proven its effectiveness over the years in assisting learners through the transition from high school to institutions of higher education and training.