As an old fishing saying goes; the ocean provides. The same can be said of the Oceana Group, South Africa’s most empowered listed company, who continue to channel their corporate social investment (CSI) through the Oceana Foundation to meet the needs identified by the communities in which the company operates.
On March 15th, pupils, parents and teachers of Graafwater Primary School in Lamberts Bay gathered as proud recipients of a new school mini bus kindly donated by the Oceana Foundation. School Principal, Charlton Williams was on hand to receive the keys from Oceana representative, Jayesh Jaga. “It is a delight to see our children’s pride for their new school bus gleaming in our school colours,” remarked Mr Williams. “I am grateful that it will no longer be a challenge for our students to attend sporting functions and school excursions at neighbouring schools or even further afield.”
Graafwater Primary school is a home to over 260 pupils, and, as a no fee school, it counts on the support from the community and the corporate sector to help improve the learning environment for the benefit of the pupils. This year’s donation of a school bus follows the fully equipped school feeding kitchen container that was also donated by the Oceana Foundation in 2013 to ensure that pupils do not have to learn on an empty stomach.
Since 2011, nearly R2 million has been invested across the three schools in Lamberts Bay as part of Oceana Group’s CSI strategy, which focuses efforts on bolstering education and food security, especially within the communities where they operate. “We believe that our CSI should empower beneficiaries to become self-sufficient and secure in their future prospects,” said Oceana CEO Francois Kuttel.
“One of our biggest prayers is being answered today,” remarks an excited grade 7 pupil and the school’s head girl, Jody Fransman. “In the past we enviously had to watch other surrounding schools pull up with their mini busses at various events, while the lack of our own transport has hindered us from attending events in neighboring towns. Now we are ready to take on the world.”