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20 January 2024

Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park Donates School Shoes to Neighbouring Schools as Part of its Back-to-School Program

Today at Storms River Primary School based in Storms River Village, South African National Parks (SANParks) donated 200 pairs of shoes to learners of five schools adjacent to Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park as part of its Back-to-School campaign. The program aims to support the education and well-being of underprivileged children in surrounding communities of national parks.

Storms River Primary School, Bluelilies Bush Primary School, Johan Hus Primary School, Coldstream Primary School and Woodlands Primary School are the beneficiaries of the 2024 Tsitsikamma Back-to-School program. To ensure that this program benefits those that are in need, schools identified children from disadvantaged background, and each received a pair of school shoes, contributing to their comfort, safety and overall educational experience.

The 200 school shoes donated to the schools today are a generous donation by Mr Vusi “The Crazy Cyclist” Sindane, a South African solopreneur, teacher and aspiring philosopher as part his 3,257.5 km cycling from Musina to Cape Town on 23 May 2023. Vusi cycled over 3000km to raise funds for 10 000 pairs of school shoes. Tsitsikamma National Park is one of the places that he stopped over and he was warmly received. As a gesture of appreciation for the Tsitsikamma staff and the people of the area, he donated 200 pairs of shoes for the local schools.

The Tsitsikamma area is marked by a high level of unemployment and many children are forced to drop out of school prematurely. Recognising the importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty, the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park, as the primary employer in the region, has taken a proactive role to support local communities through initiatives like the Back-to-School Program.

The Back-to-School Program was initially launched on Mandela Day last year and due to its success and positive impact, SANParks decided to continue with the initiative. By providing essential school items, SANParks aims to alleviate some of the challenges faced by families and empower children to pursue their education.