Li­ly­fontein Sleep­Out

First East Lon­don school joins ini­tia­tive to help the home­less

Go! & Express - - News - SARAH KINGON

WHILE South Africa’s cur­rent and fu­ture busi­ness lead­ers head for the Nel­son Man­dela Bridge in Jo­han­nes­burg for the an­nual CEO Sleep­Out tonight, Li­ly­fontein pupils and teach­ers will show their sol­i­dar­ity by par­tic­i­pat­ing in their first ever School Sleep­Out.

Or­gan­ised in sup­port of the #SouthAfricaMustRise move­ment and the global CEO Sleep­Out chal­lenge, Li­ly­fontein’s event will run from 6pm this evening to 6am to­mor­row morn­ing.

Pupils and teach­ers will sleep out­doors on card­board with only blan­kets and a com­mu­nal fire to give them a small taste of home­less­ness.

They will not only be con­duct­ing the Sleep­Out to gain some un­der­stand­ing for the plight of the home­less, but also as part of a drive to col­lect items needed by needy pupils at Nk­wezana School, near Cross­ways.

The items in­clude things like warm clothes, blan­kets, toi­letries, packet soup and hot choco­late.

“We’re ask­ing that pupils per­son­ify the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion as a means to end home­less­ness and spend the night sleep­ing out­doors on their school grounds in sol­i­dar­ity, rais­ing empa- thy for the home­less and col­lect­ing items for those in need,” Li­ly­fontein mar­ket­ing head Caro­line Kruger said.

“It is al­ways im­por­tant to have em­pa­thy for those less for­tu­nate than one­self.

“In this way, we are teaching pupils about their re­spon­si­bil­ity within their own com­mu­nity and en­cour­age them to get in­volved to help,” Kruger said.

Chief ex­ec­u­tives in Jo­han­nes­burg will be rais­ing funds for ed­u­ca­tion and help­ing to al­le­vi­ate poverty by sup­port­ing the Asha Trust for Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment, Columba Lead­er­ship and the Steve Biko Foun­da­tion.

Last year Mer­cedes-Benz chief ex­ec­u­tive Arno van der Merwe rep­re­sented East Lon­don sleep­ing out in aid of the poor.

Li­ly­fontein is the first school to par­tic­i­pate in the School Sleep­Out from East Lon­don.

The school an­tic­i­pates that about 50 pupils and teach­ers will show up tonight.

They heard about the School Sleep­Out from Rika Ver­ster, who is ac­counts man­ager at D6 Tech­nol­ogy in part­ner­ship with Lib­erty Life in the Eastern Cape.

Ver­ster said the school ini­tia­tive be­gan last year.

“We saw the niche and it is grow­ing this year and will do go­ing into the fu­ture.”

Be­sides Li­ly­fontein the two other schools tak­ing part in the School Sleep­Out this year are Vic­to­ria Girls in Gra­ham­stown and Woodridge in Port El­iz­a­beth.

THREAD­BARE SHEL­TER: Pre­par­ing for Li­ly­fontein’s Sleep­Out tonight, pupil Si­mone Cour­tois tucks in after build­ing his own shel­ter and spend­ing 48 hours with­out food or elec­tron­ics

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