Lavender Hill school gets R1m windfall for library and hall

Albert Wessels, Headteacher Andre Lamprecht and Windlab Africa MD, Peter Venn

Levana, an impoverished primary school in Lavender Hill, received a gift of R1m to build a library and school hall. In a ceremony held in the school playground, headmaster Andre Lamprecht was handed a cheque by The Albert Wessels Trust that will dramatically impact the entire community.

The library will be shared with the community and will be the first in Lavender Hill. The Western Cape Government Fiber Optic Program includes these disadvantaged schools which means the library will also receive a high speed 100MB line.

Albert Wessels, speaking at the event, said, "I am priveleged to represent my grandfather's Trust to put education at the forefront of our minds. It doesn't stop with a bit of money and some bricks. At the end of the day it will be up to the children to ensure that his dream gets realised. Nelson Mandela preached that education is the most important thing, and it will be up to you to study hard and benefit from these things and benefit the lives of those around you."

The initiative had been driven by Peter Venn, MD of Windlab Africa, after he became involved with the school in a mentoring program, Partners for Possibility, that allowed him to closely collaborate with the principal Andre Lamprecht and assist with improving the school.

Venn explained: "A year ago we set two top level goals - to build a hall and library precinct - and also to introduce sport at the school. Today we've achieved the first real step towards one of those goals. What's exciting is that the Dept of Culture, Art and Sport (DCAS) has also pledged half a million rand for the interior of the hall. We thank them for that."

Melinda Abrahams of Partners for Possibility added, "Peter and Andre were introduced to each other a year ago, and they have now worked on a number of modules with the Partners for Possibility Program. Within their partnership they identified critical areas that need to be addressed in this school and this community. With Peter's help they were able to submit a request to Albert Wessels and this is the outcome today - a R1 000 000 cheque to Levana Primary. Quite amazing work in one year."

"This is a great example of what we do - create the platform for business leaders and school leaders to come together. So business learns from education, and education learns from business - there's cross-pollination. There are 20 000 under-resourced schools in the country. And if we can keep connecting one business unit or business leader with one school, we would be able to cover that 20 000 in no time."

She concludes, "It's not about Peter coming in and changing the school, it's about the partnership of Peter and Andre being able to unlock the potential in this community."

Levana Primary pupils thank their benefactors