The perfect Spring Day was had as the learners of Lebogang Primary School in Ga-Rankuwa received DeskBags for their school thanks to the generous support of The Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) along with their partners Financial Intermediaries Association (FIA), South Africa Insurance Association (SAIA) and the co-sponsors of the Gala Dinner evening, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and Africa Reinsurance Corporation. The IISA and partners decided to minimise their table decor spend for the Gala Dinner and to purchase DeskBags.
All the pupils at the school from grade R to grade 7each received their very own DeskBag, which when folded open, acts as a portable desk. The handover forms part of DeskBags’ larger commitment to help ease the educational struggles of millions of South African children who do not have access to school desks.
“Lack of school desks is a problem faced by many South African schools. Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, estimated that schools across South Africa need approximately three million desks. This is a statistic that we cannot ignore. It is our duty as corporate citizens to ensure that children’s educational struggles are addressed,” explains Shannon Roscher, managing director of DeskBags.
“It’s disheartening to see that some of our future leaders have no choice but to crouch over on their hands and knees to use the floor as a writing surface for an entire school day. This is not only extremely uncomfortable but it hinders their ability to learn, leads to bad handwriting, poor eyesight, unconventional posture, chronic back and neck ache and as well as a high level of dropout rates which has a fundamental impact on our education standards.”
It was for this very reason that DeskBags were created, with the aim of easing the educational burden felt by so many children.
Aside from being made from 100% recyclable billboard materials, DeskBags are school bags that provide a portable desk solution for learners to use at school and at home. The front flap of the bag is reinforced with durable ABS plastic, that when folded open, allows for instant desk support. The light weight school bag also allows plenty of space for learners to carry all their books and stationery whether they are in pre-primary school or matric. Furthermore, DeskBags are weather-proof and also come with reflective binding that allow children to be easily spotted when walking in the rain or dark.
However, the company relies on the support of corporates to cover the manufacturing costs of the bags which are then donated to schools free of charge. We are only able to do so thanks to companies such as the IISA.
“We are thrilled to be involved with DeskBags, an initiative that is so committed to helping children with their educational struggles. It is our vision as an organisation to help create world class skills for a world class industry by promoting skills development among our members. It is vitally important for us to make a sustainable difference through corporate social investment activities that promote efficiency, progress, welfare and general development of communities in need. We believe that our sponsorship of DeskBags to the learners of Lebogang Primary School fits in perfectly with our goals, and we are more than happy that the support from all stakeholders of The Insurance Conference 2015 can make a tangible difference in their lives,” explains David Harpur, CEO of the IISA.
“DeskBags is truly a labour of love for us – to be able to positively affect the lives of children and help contribute to their education so that they can become positive contributing members of society gives me great joy. It is our goal to see all 3.1 million deskless children receive a DeskBag and I encourage corporate South Africa to get involved to help make this goal a reality,” concludes Roscher.
For more information on the IISA, visit their website at www.iisa.co.za. To find out how you or your company can get involved with DeskBags, join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DeskBags or contact Shannon Roscher on 011 896 1818.