Student Vows to Provide Shoes and Jerseys for 5000!
A third-year UKZN Medical student, Ms Mbalenhle Mthembu, has committed to providing 5 000 pairs of school shoes and 5 000 jerseys for 5 000 young children from disadvantaged backgrounds in KwaZulu-Natal.
As a young girl growing up in Doringkop, Stanger, one of Mthembu’s earliest memories was walking bare foot to school. Standing in front of the school assembly one morning, she suddenly felt like the entire school was looking at her feet and cringed! She had lost her parents at a young age and there was simply not enough money around in her remaining family unit to buy her school shoes.
Mthembu (22) triumphed through the adversities and made a vow that one day she would help children to have new school shoes and uniforms.
That young girl is now well on her way to becoming a medical doctor and has begun to make her vow a reality!
Just a few weeks ago, she started a campaign titled: Igniting 5000 Dreams, under the umbrella of her NPO, Enhle Cares Foundation, which was registered in January 2015.
‘We want to ensure that as many children as possible in rural areas won’t have to go to school without shoes,’ said Mthembu, who is known at UKZN as ‘Enhle’.
‘Children have a right to education, but often we don’t realise that children in deep rural areas don’t enjoy the benefits of this right as they are born into poverty stricken families.
‘They have to walk long distances and cross rivers bare foot in cold winter months.’
Several of her friends have joined the Enhle Cares campaign, including 4th year Medical students, Ms Snenhlanhla Maphalala, Ms Vonani Mpangela, Ms Memory Nkosi, Ms Sindisiwe Mabaso, Mr Phila Xaba and Mr Sbusiso Ngcobo as well as the reigning Miss UKZN, Ms Nompumelelo Nkosi, who is also a Medical student, and the country’s youngest doctor, Dr Sandile Kubheka.
The foundation has received support from by Mr Abraham Masinga and Dr Portia-Kheswa Masinga, which it acknowledges gratefully.
Mthembu also thanked her siblings, Nomfundo and Asande Mthembu, for all their support.
The Campaign crusaders visited three rural schools in KwaZulu-Natal - Phangweni Primary School in Escourt, Wiggins Primamry School in Mayville and a school in Maphumulo - where they handed out 90 pairs of school shoes, uniforms and jerseys to children in need. The campaign is aimed at Grade 1 to 3 pupils at quintile 1 and 2 schools in all 11 KZN districts.
Mthembu plans to mentor high school children in the near future. ‘My plan is that Medical students will mentor kids who want to study Medicine. Engineering students will mentor those interested in a career in Engineering.
‘We want to ignite dreams. We don’t have much, but we want to change lives,’ she said.
She has approached corporates and retailers to help fund the project and is grateful to Mr Jeremy Marshall of Marshalls World of Sport who donated R20 000 to kick start the project. It is hoped that donation boxes for school shoes will be set up soon at the Pavilion and Gateway shopping centres.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the Enhle Cares Campaign should contact Mthembu at firstname.lastname@example.org; or through Facebook- Enhle Cares Foundation.