Have you ever tried doing productive work without sitting at a desk. No, I’m not talking about using your laptop in bed or meeting a client at a coffee shop. Imaging doing work that involves notepads, calculators, pens, learning, writing – all without a desk.
Unfortunately that is the reality of millions of Southern African school children every day. In fact an estimated 3 million learners attend school every day without the benefit of a classroom desk to work at and the lack of a desk or hard writing surface, affects handwriting, concentration and overall academic performance.
The good news is that in response to this and the greater African need the Tutudesk Campaign has been providing portable school desks to children in Sub Saharan Africa for the last few years. To date the Tutudesk Campaign has assisted more than 1,4 million learners in 24 African countries. As the name suggests, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is the Tutudesk campaign’s official patron.
“I was a barefoot township urchin. I went to school where there were no desks. We sat on benches and when the teacher asked us to write, we knelt down on the floor and used the benches we had been sitting on as desks …. I wish Tutudesks had been available in my day!” Archbishop Desmond Tutu
So how can you help? It’s super simple, especially if you already own and use a MySchool card. From 13 – 16 June all you need to do is swipe your card to support the Tutudesk campaign OR if you don’t yet have a MySchool card you just need to sign up and swipe to support the Tutudesk campaign.
To sign up for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card go to: https://www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply/
For Youth Day 2015, MySchool is aiming to raise R350 000-00 for 2 500 lap desks. Every time a MySchool card is swiped at a participating retailers R1 will be donated towards the Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign. The participating retailers are Woolworths, Waltons, Toys R Us, Reggie’s and Engen Foodstops. The R1 donation will be made over and above the contribution already made towards the cardholder’s selected beneficiary.
What a perfect excuse to go shopping this long weekend!
The benefits of supporting this campaign are numerous, not lease of which are the amazing results that the Tutudesk has achieved for helping the rural school children of SA.
• Results from an independent research survey covering 16 000 Tutudesk recipients and 500 teachers indicated sharp improvements in multiple areas relating to literacy development and academic performance.
• 80% of teachers said that learner’s handwriting was easier to read.
• 77% said that Tutudesk had made learning easier for their students and that they were able to teach more effectively
• 76% of teachers advised that Tutudesks had significantly improved the overall learning experience for their pupils.
• There was an overall 65% improvement in homework delivery.
• All Tutudesks are locally produced, supporting local employment.
• They are made from high-grade material and come with a 6-year guarantee.
• Each desk weighs less than 1kg and sits on the learner’s lap, providing them with a surface to write on, whether they are sitting on the floor or a chair.
• Desks have a handle, so they are easy to carry.
• The material the desk is made from is child safe, made from a mixed polymer that gives it flexibility and ensures that it can’t shatter like other plastics if dropped.
The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising programme is one of South Africa’s biggest community support programmes. They raise essential funds for schools, charities and environmental organisations through a system that encourages cardholders to swipe their card at our retail partners, who will donate a percentage of your purchase value to the beneficiary of your choice. The system allows cardholders to make a difference to a worthy cause without it costing them a cent. The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme raises more than R3 million per month for the schools. Supporters apply for a free MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card and can select up to 3 schools and/or charities as their beneficiary/ies. When they purchase items from participating retailers they swipe the card with the purchase. A small percentage of their transaction is then allocated to their beneficiary school or charity. The partner stores pay the donation on behalf of the cardholder. The supporter card is not a credit or debit card but simply tracks transactions and funds raised.
Now that you know about this great cause don’t forget to swipe your MySchool card over the next few days to support the Tutudesk campaign OR sign up here: https://www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply/
Images: MySchool & Clayton Smith Photography