Retailer PNA and NGO Breadline Africa build 5 new ECDs across SA 

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Southern Africa-based retailer PNA has announced the successful culmination of a fundraising campaign launched on Mandela Day 2022. The Rock Your Funky Socks Day initiative saw just over 75 000 stickers sold, with PNA topping up the final amount to R1,2 million. These profits are earmarked for the financing and construction of 4 new Early Childhood Development schools in underfunded communities.

The campaign is the result of a partnership between PNA and Breadline Africa, a collaborative relationship that began in 2021 with the construction of a new school in the impoverished community of Orange Farm, located 42km from Johannesburg.

The current campaign culminates on 11 October 2022 with the rebuild of two schools, Ntlakwe Pre-Primary and Tandabantu Pre-Primary – both located in Bizana, Eastern Cape Province. These schools are currently suffering from a chronic lack of resources and are comprised of makeshift buildings with no electricity or running water.

According to Herman Botha, PNA Senior Executive for Product and Marketing, private sector investment is a critically important factor in determining better access to education – especially in vulnerable communities. “Poor infrastructure, crowded classrooms, and unhygienic sanitation continue to beset education outcomes,” says Botha. “Decisive action has to be taken and investment provided in order to ensure every South African child has access to quality education. Fortunately, our customers and franchisees agree and through their unwavering support, we have been able to create pockets of hope in these communities.”

The money raised by the PNA Group will be utilised to build 2 new classrooms, an office, and a functional kitchen for both schools. In addition, the schools will also receive new facilities – flushing toilets, water harvesting tanks, and playground equipment which has been generously donated.

The Principal of Tandabantu, Ms Nozuku Peter  says: “We are so grateful to PNA and Breadline Africa for this new classroom. Our schooling conditions are so bad, our classroom is a mud hut with a tin roof.  Our community simply did not have the money for a new classroom – so this is a grateful gift to our teachers and children.”

PNA has also rallied the support of staff and suppliers to fulfil a resource wish-list for these schools, which includes stationery, educational books, posters, arts and crafts materials, plus gas heaters for the bitterly cold winters the region experiences.

“We recognise that literacy is critical for children’s long-term success,” says Marion Wagner, Director of Breadline Africa. “It is fundamentally important for children to obtain the high-level skills needed by a nation to address issues of poverty and inequality for development and growth.”

The PNA Group has already built 5 new schools across South Africa. In addition to its robust business growth strategy, the group also emphasises its mandate of social investment, with the help and support of customers, to invest in the future of Southern Africa.