Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town International Airport (ACSA CTIA) is once again embarking on its school up-liftment project which will assist another seven schools this year in making critical school improvements which was started in May 2011. The airport worked closely with the the Western Cape Education Foundation who also provided the criteria for selecting the schools. This was based on their criteria for schools with the most improved pass rate and others in need of maintenance the airport selected schools in close proximity to the airport. Last year, ACSA CTIA spent R150 000 on this initiative and this year this amount has been increased to R176 000. As part of the handover, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at Manzomthombo Secondary School in Mfuleni with representatives from the Western Cape Education department in attendance.
"Our business is not only about airports - it's about giving back to our communities. So, as an airport operator, contributing toward the development and sustainability of our communities is very important and education is the foundation for the development of any community. This initiative has two components, thus, acknowledging and rewarding schools whom have increased their matric pass rate; and schools that are in desperate need for maintenance work to allow them to improve their learning environment. The schools we are supporting this year have been selected in different locales to be inclusive of all areas surrounding the airport," said Deborah Francis, Acting Communications Manager, Cape Town International Airport
This year 10 schools were visited; the Corporate Social Investment staff committee set and selected seven schools to be funded. The R176 000 budget has been divided among these schools with each school receiving about R 25 000. These funds were used to upgrade the schools in terms of their basic needs such as fixing classroom doors, installation of security gates in toilets and painting classroom walls. The donation also went towards the purchasing of critical items such as the Interactive “Touch Screen” White Board, computers, printers, the installation of electricity to the school children feeding project and science equipment for one school in Samora. The schools benefiting this year are Usasazo Secondary School in Khayelitsha, Fezeka Secondary School in Gugulethu, Manzomthombo Secondary School in Mfuleni, Leiden Secondary School in Delft, Elnor Primary School in Elsies River and Voorbrug Secondary School in Delft.
The airport also has three projects it supports which are also aimed at schools’ and education upliftment and education development. These long standing beneficiaries receive funding on a three year cycle and these include the Earth Child Project, which is a schools' based project where facilitators are placed in schools with the aim of introducing and maintaining a holistic and experiential education programme. Programmes are aimed at benefiting the school, its children and the parents of that particular community. They run programmes such as producing vegetable gardens, recycling and waste management and selling healthy foods. A youth development project from Mitchells Plain, Oaks of Righteousness as well as Technology Research Activity Centre (TRAC), a school based programme focusing on improving children's exposure to mathematics, science and technology. The programme is offered to grade 11's & 12's in 14 schools in the neighbouring community of the airport. “Through such initiatives, we continue to strive to positively impact the communities in which the airport operates through our social responsibility programmes,” added Francis.