Today marks the official handover of a water and classroom project at Diepsloot Secondary School No. 3 in Johannesburg, after 38 Engen service station owners undertook an eight-month task to transform the schooling facilities, by providing the most basic needs for children, many of whom live below the breadline.
Over the years, franchisees (retailers) who serve on the Engen Gauteng Central West CSI committee have helped to restore, uplift and improve the facilities at several pre-schools in the Diepsloot area.
This year they again came together, this time to support Diepsloot Senior Secondary School No.3.
Despite many challenges, the school has maintained a 100% matric pass rate over the past three years, courtesy of passionate and dedicated teaching staff and learners. This success has been achieved, despite Diepsloot Senior Secondary School having no running water for its 1 200+ learners.
“We believe in the term, ‘no water, no education’. Therefore, we are passionate about giving back and believe that education can set these learners free and enable them to develop. This is why we have ensured decent schooling facilities and drilled a borehole at the school, courtesy of Blue River Drilling, to provide a constant supply of clean running water,” says the CSI retailer committee.
The borehole, which surprisingly produces water from an aquifer, is expected to yield approximately 65 000 liters of water a day, enough to supply the school, as well as neighbouring schools accommodating almost 3 000 pupils. The borehole now also provides a water connection for the school’s ablution facilities and vegetable garden.
“Running water at the school will not only resuscitate the school’s vegetable and greening projects, but also presents an opportunity to educate learners about water conservation. We are privileged that we could involve members of the community with the digging of trenches for the water connections, and reward them for their work,” adds the CSI committee.
And it does not end there.
“In partnership with Container Conversions, we have managed to provide the school with extra classrooms, an air-conditioned exam hall, a staff lounge, a library and a fully-fitted kitchen with water, to name but a few of the aspects of the project.”
The Engen franchisees unveiled the upgrades to a thrilled principal, staff and learners at the official launch event in late October where learners enjoyed treats including a nutritional meal, party packs and clothing items, which were supplied by the project partners.
Funding raised for the project by the Engen Gauteng Central West franchisees was matched by Engen as part of the company’s Engen Dealer Community Partnership Programme (DCPP).
“Keeping in mind that knowledge is power, we managed to secure a container library book donor. Other positive spin-offs resulting from this project, include sanitary towel distribution from the primary school level upwards, as well a team-building course for the school staff.
“The CSI retailer committee extends its gratitude to the various project partners, including: Blue River Drilling, Container Conversions, Planact NGO, Cash Connect, SG Convenience, Kgwebong Consultants, KitKat and Corner Bakery.”
Unathi Njokweni-Magida, Engen’s head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement says that Engen encourages and supports Engen franchisees engaging with their local communities and helping enrich lives for a sustainable future.
“We welcome this generous show of community support and social upliftment by them,” says Njokweni-Magida.