New initiative makes supporting pupils child’s play

ABC for Life have launched a new toy store in Hout Bay to support children struggling in class after being out for nearly a year.

A new toy store has been launched by a well-known Hout Bay charity organisation to help children struggling in class.

ABC for Life opened their new educational toy stall at the Harbour Bay Market, as a means to offer further support pupils struggling to cope in class.

Project co-ordinator, Nyara Purazi, said they discovered that many pupils were struggling in class and noticed the “big gaps in their education”.

“We help them to get back on track through extra support. There are so many children that needs our assistance and as a NPO, it is very essential that we fund-raise,” Ms Purazi said.

ABC for Life was started in 2007, when co-founders and trustees, Lola Kramer and Val Toledo, assisted a 14-year-old boy who had dropped out of school and started living on the streets. The boy was unable to write or read, prompting the pair to take action.

Ms Purazi said they approached the local school in Hangberg, where they enrolled him and then requested space at the school to start an extra support programme.

“The programme helps pupils who are behind with their school work and helps them catch up, cope and enjoy their schooling again. Pupils are helped to build a strong educational foundation that enables them to cope in future and all subjects,” Ms Purazi explained.

The programme mainly focuses on English, Afrikaans and mathematics.

ABC for Life said pupils were struggling especially with taking turns to come in to school to allow for social distancing.

Ms Purazi said pupils were attending only three or two days out of a five-day school week.

“With the reduced time at school, most pupils are behind and are struggling to cope. ABC for Life has developed specialised material that pupils use in order to catch up quickly in their school work,” Ms Purazi added.

ABC for Life’s new toy store at the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay.

Samantha Collins said programmes such the ABC for Life project offered a helping hand, especially for parents who are facing a tough time.

“I am a single parent and I have to be at work to support my children and keep a roof over our heads. Sometimes it’s not easy finding the time to sit with their work, but we try,” she said.

Ms Collins said her nine-year-old son Jarred had been facing difficult times in the classrooms, especially after being at home for nearly a year.

“It did not help him at all, because all they did was sit around and watch television. When they got back into the classroom, they had to adjust to everything again, like starting school from scratch,” the mother of three said.

“I would encourage ABC for Life to go out there and help more kids, because Jarred is not the only one struggling.”

The idea for the toy store was sparked after they discovered a number of pupils in need, but at the same time, found that a number of donors had also been heavily affected by the pandemic sweeping the globe. This gave rise to the educational toy stall.

“We believe that with the support of our community and others, it will grow into a big project. This will enable our charity organisation to help more kids who are struggling with their school and it will also help the organisation to be self sustainable,” Ms Purazi said.

ABC for Life believes that the benefits of new toy stall were twofold, providing children with educational toys at an affordable rate, allowing them to have fun and learn at the same time. In addition to this, the funds from sales go to ABC for Life, allowing them to reach out to more pupils in and around Hout Bay.

In 2018, ABC for Life replicated this programme at Constantia Primary School. They have now set their sights on expanding the programme, tapping into other local school around Hout Bay.

“It is quite an exciting that this programme only started at Sentinel Primary School, but has grown,” Ms Purazi said.

“We understand that children need a strong foundation to cope in school and this is what we re-enforce at ABC.”

How you can help

You can also support ABC for Life by sponsoring a child or add ABC for Life as a beneficiary on your MySchool shopping card.

If you have any pre-loved toys, games and books which are in good shape, you can drop them off with ABC for Life.

For more information, contact Nyara Purazi on 084 737 3024 or 021 791 0869 or email or visit the website

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