The staff and management of the South African oncology company, Eurolab, made sure that little children living in the Zama Zama informal settlement in Pretoria West had a present to open on Christmas day last year. The Eurolab team visited the children here in December to hand over boxes of presents and tasty treats, with a special instruction to only open their presents on Christmas Day. The donation was made possible through a partnership with the New Schools of Hopewhich runs a creche and school in the settlement, located in Claremont, Pretoria West.

Eurolab CEO, Lynne Du Toit, says, “This was the second year that Eurolab donated goodies and gifts to the children living in Zama Zama. Every staff member at Eurolab contributed to the gift packs which were made up of stationery, sweets, toys, clothes and toiletries.

“It was an honour for us to once again support New Schools of Hope because they do such important work in educating and mentoring Zama Zama’s children and ensuring they eat a nutritious diet. Children need to grow up in a nurturing and secure environment and they need to eat properly. New Schools of Hope is providing this to them.”

Alida Fourie, founder of New Schools of Hope, says, “We believe that all children deserve an education. Our focus is to get children ready for school. We do this by providing nutrition, emotional wellness, social skills and an intellectually stimulating environment. This is coupled with strong spiritual and moral guidance.

“We so appreciate Eurolab’s support because it brought joy to children over the festive period while allowing us to engender the real meaning of Christmas and a spirit of giving in these precious little children.”

New Schools of Hope is a non-profit organization. Alida is supported by a team of hard working and dedicated people who share her belief in ‘Healing Poverty through Education’. New Schools of Hope also believes in empowering community members by offering up-skilling and educational opportunities.

Lynne adds that, “Eurolab is an oncology companycommitted to improving access to cancer care and making treatment more affordable. Yet we are also aware of the difficulties that many of our people face beyond healthcare access. This is whyour corporate social responsibility programmes includes education, skills development and nutrition. It is a privilege to support New Schools of Hope and we look forward to meeting up with more childrenat the end of 2022.”

Alida says, “We began our work in Zama Zamain 2013 with a stimulation program for children once a week. The University of Pretoria’s Human NutritionDepartment was brought in to conduct an assessment ofthe nutritional status of children here. We learned that out of a total of one hundred children, 40 were in a severe acute state of malnutrition and needed immediate hospitalization while the other 60 were severely malnourished. Sowe rolled up our sleeves and got to work.”

Zama is a Zulu word which means ‘try your luck’. Through New Schools of Hope’s work, Zama Zama’s little ones will soon be school-ready and have a chance to complete school and try their luck at success in life through further study or employment.

“Despite no running water or electricity, the Zama Zama community works hard to keep their streets and homes clean and neat, with some members now running small businesses as well,” concludes Alida.