When the Covid-19 lock-down was imposed in South Africa on March 19 lots of parents immediately stopped paying school fees. In unregistered educares, principals were suddenly confronted by the prospect of paying staff with no income to make it possible. Few had funds they could fall back on. Those with subsidies were able to use some of those funds to pay their teams.
Without fees, few principals could pay their teachers in March. Even fewer were able to do so in April. As the pending crisis emerged Starting Chance turned to its global donor network. To our amazement, through their generosity, we have been able to inject R250 000 into the Mfuleni community by paying 201 Covid-19 subsidies, keeping food on the table for almost 170 families.
Our funds are now seriously depleted and we need help to maintain the safety net - salaries in May will not be paid as no fees have been received at all in April due to school closures.
A staggering 8 million children have their main meal of the day in school in South Africa - testament to the fact that even during normal times many parents struggle to make ends meet.
Principals across the 30 educares we support, serving about 2600 children daily, now have little money left to restock their pantries when they reopen. We need help to be able to assist them in reopening their kitchens so that they can ensure their children receive a healthy, wholesome meal once more as winter begins in Cape Town.