On 4 March, the Social Welfare team funded by Merafe Resources facilitated a Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education Programme at Meriti Secondary School in Meriting Township near Rustenburg in commemoration of School Health Week. The programme was initiated and prompted by learners from the school, stating the need to access information to help curb bullying, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy as well as address adolescent issues.
School Health Week – launched in 1995 by the World Health Organisation to improve the health of learners, school personnel, families and communities. The Foundation commemorated this special week by shining the spotlight on its Social Welfare projects, implemented to improve the health and wellness of learners and the link between social welfare and learning because healthy learners are better prepared to learn.
The Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education programme at Meriti addressed health, hygiene, sanitation, puberty and sex education at the school by facilitating public discussions with both boys and girls about these topics. Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education programme falls under Social Welfare which is one of the pillars of the Adopt-a-School Foundation’s Whole School Development model. Whole School Development is designed to address infrastructure, school leadership, curriculum and social welfare in disadvantaged schools. Social Welfare interventions focus on health and social issues faced by learners and offer programmes that reduce learner absenteeism.
“Over the years through multiple corporate partnerships, we have worked hard at mitigating health and social welfare issues that may hinder a child’s well-being and an effective learning process. As with the many communities we work in, the majority of households in the Meriti community live in households with low incomes and often lack access to basic health and social services, which impact learner school attendance”, says Bernice Maponyane, Social Welfare Programme Manager, Adopt-a-School Foundation.
Since its inception, the Health, Sanitation and Sexual Education programme has reached 19 170 learners, and over 457 parental workshops have been hosted. Support systems for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) have been offered to 3,330 children, with 192 467 eyesight tests conducted and 8 390 spectacles distributed. Further 1,634 audiology tests have been undertaken within our schools with 28 hearing aids distributed. The Moral Regeneration Programme has reached 2450 learners within the schools’ Learner Representative Councils.
“Adopt-a-School Foundation relies on the support and commitment of corporates and individuals and their belief that education is a critical driver for South Africa. The Social Welfare Project was all made possible through funding from our donor – Merafe Resources” says Banyana Mohajane, Adopt-a-School Foundation Head of Programmes.