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  • Laila Manie and Yembe Bari

REVAMP in the time of Covid

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Call 2 Care improves lives through educational outreach projects and socially conscious events and although this seems like a mouthful, Call 2 Care is really involved in getting hands dirty - whether it be with soil and seeds through the iGardi Project or with paint and tools through REVAMP. All events are about ensuring that beneficiaries benefit the most from Call 2 Care’s outreach projects. Along with UniSky, Call 2 Care returned to Thembani Primary School in Langa, Cape Town but this time with paint in hand and enough enthusiasm to fill the Mother City.

Thembani Primary School’s classes had not been repainted since it was built. Call 2 Care stepped in with the assistance of UniSky to change the interior of the classrooms . This initiative at Thembani Primary school is facilitated by Call 2 Care, alongside Thembani’s iGardi Club. Call 2 Care has a long standing relationship with Thembani Primary and as UniSky is a regular corporate sponsor of Call 2 Care, who volunteers with Call 2 Care on a bimonthly basis, the REVAMP was a perfect match.

According to the South African Journal of Education(SAJE) (2005: 25(1) 5-10), the legal framework for a definition of a safe school environment is defined in the following way; a safe school may be defined as one that is free of danger and where there is an absence of possible harm; a place in which non-educators, educators and learners may work, teach and learn without fear of ridicule, intimidation, harassment, humiliation, or violence. A safe school is therefore a healthy school in that it is physically and psychologically safe. Indicators of safe schools include the presence of certain physical features such as secure walls, fencing and gates; buildings that are in a good state of repair; and well-maintained school grounds. Call 2 Care seeks to assist the Department of Education and the implementation of chapter 2 of the South African Bill of Rights, as outlined in the SAJE and by the South African Human Rights Council (SAHRC), to meet the need for safe and secure school environments.

Often, Call 2 Care is associated with food security projects but with Care being set in the name, the heart of the organization is about taking that care and moving it to action. With that in mind, Call 2 Care expands across a range of projects to assist across the spectrum of needs. The REVAMP Project took quite the knock with COVID-19 silencing the globe but more than that, our passion to serve our beneficiaries was halted. REVAMP is about creating beautiful and inspiring spaces and so, in line with educational needs, learners also require a safe and creative space to turn to. The students from Thembani Primary in Langa attend school and live in underserved communities where much of the time, they are surrounded by uninspiring situations and ones that require immense emotional and physical sacrifice. Thembani Primary should not be one of those spaces. With all COVID-19 protocols in place such as the wearing of masks, frequent sanitizing of hands and surfaces and only two volunteers painting per wall, we have been able to uplift and upgrade 2 classrooms along with UniSky at Thembani Primary, which really touched the hearts of students and educators alike. Call 2 Care aims to repaint the rest of the classrooms as a Mandela Day project. As educators are focused on using limited resources to deliver the best education they possibly can to their students, not much attention is paid to the maintenance and upkeep of the school building. This is why REVAMP makes such a valuable impact.

Transformation through infrastructure and corporate volunteering

Call 2 Care is built on the foundation of encouraging independence and allowing beneficiaries to progress beyond dependency on organizations. Much progress can be achieved through education, however, when that education is taking place in a poorly maintained building, it can often dampen the spirits of students and educators and so, Call 2 Care would like educators to feel assisted as they mould the future of South Africa. The attention and maintenance to their workplace keeps them inspired to continue doing the important work that is placed upon their shoulders.

The link between school infrastructure and the quality of education outcomes has been established by Amnesty International in their research of secondary/high schools in underserved communities in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape in 2019. The impact involves higher levels of learners dropping out of school and creating irregular attendance. Amnesty International describes South Africa’s school system as broken and unequal. It is not difficult to see that at primary school level, dropping out may not be common but the link between poor infrastructure and quality of education affects learners of all ages. For educators, it then becomes a mammoth task of overcoming socio-economic difficulties in order to deliver valuable and impactful lessons.

Is REVAMP via corporate sponsorship a quick fix?

As highlighted above and supported by various research and human rights bodies, REVAMP has an immense positive effect on students and their schools at large. It is often that the maintenance of school buildings or upkeep of orphanage homes and other social welfare spaces can be viewed as a quick fix in the eyes of corporate sponsors. However, it provides a long term solution by making sure that places of learning such as Thembani Primary never reach an irreparable state. Corporate sponsors often do not consider projects like Call 2 Care’s REVAMP as a ‘’true’’ need for its beneficiaries. They may feel it has no direct impact on lives. While revamping of school buildings is not just cost effective and time friendly, it also acts as a playground for attracting and retaining students and educators. A well-maintained and well-designed school can boost pupils’ academic performance. Revamping or renovating the school structure provides an environment that will prepare pupils to perform well as they use their school spaces to become part of a well-nourished group of young learners prepared for a global community.

Corporate sponsors charged with goals of social change and improving lives can get involved with Call 2 Care’s REVAMP. Call 2 Care’s beneficiaries are in need of interior and exterior paint jobs, upgrading key classroom facilities, furniture installations and plumbing as well as the provision of sport facilities such as the installation of fields. REVAMP is not about painting a wall and walking away, it is about the upkeep and constant sponsorship and involvement by tending to the needs of these beneficiaries in order to impact generations of youth that will certainly require it.

Corporate sponsorship and personal donation or contribution is at the core of Call 2 Care’s ability to align itself with the needs of South Africa and meet demands. Through involving your company or making a monthly donation, Call 2 Care will be able to continue meeting the goal of impacting lives. By using youth development as a motivator, Call 2 Care's projects are closely linked with uplifting communities and giving them the tools they need to progress efficiently by making sure that basic needs are met.

When you create an environment that is conducive for learning, then it inspires the learners. When they come into the classroom, they will be inspired and motivated. I cannot express the way I feel. You have done the most wonderful thing because at the back of our minds are the interests of the learners. If the learners are comfortable in the learning environment then it means that everything will be successful - Educator at Thembani Primary in Langa, Cape Town.


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