Two Soweto primary school brothers, aged 10 and 12, who were barred from writing exams because they could not afford to buy school shoes were yesterday showered with donations from well-wishers.
Their unemployed mom, Sharon Bill, 41, cried tears of joy as she received gifts of school uniforms, stationery, backpacks, takkies, casual clothes and grocery vouchers for her sons, Kutlwano and Junior Khesa.
The mother of six shared her heartbreaking story with The Star last week about the ill-treatment that her children received from Makhoarane Primary School principal in Dobsonville.
The children were thrown out of the school for substituting their badly worn-out school shoes with takkies and ended up missing two of their exams.
Their story touched many hearts. People came forward to assist and give what they had to the family.
Some went to the Sparrow Ministries hospice in Roodepoort to take the mother and her children grocery and clothing shopping.
Others went even further with offers of long-term assistance to help provide for their needs. They bought extra uniforms for two other siblings who attend a different school.
The mother was also offered opportunities for two job interviews by organisations that also read the story.
Yesterday, The Star, and some donors visited the hospice and Children’s Village to hand over the gifts.
On receiving the gifts, the mother said: “I am out of words. What you guys (The Star and the donors) did is amazing. I believe this is God’s work."
The mother added that should she get a job, life was going to change for the better.
Some donors went further still, buying school shoes for some of the other needy children at the school.
Thabo Chefu, a director at Oarabile Concrete Mix, who donated 50 pairs of shoes, said he made the donation to raise awareness about the plight of disadvantaged learners.
“People with businesses and have money must give back to those in need.
“These children must know that we look up to them and believe they can be our future heroes. “We therefore need to encourage them to work hard at school by sharing with them the little that we have,” said Chefu.
He said he will be donating another 70 pairs of shoes to the school next week.