Lavender Hill school receives R1m windfall for library and hall

Levana cheque handover: Levana cheque handoverLevana cheque handover: Levana cheque handover
Albert Wessels of The Albert Wessels Trust, Levana headmaster Andre Lamprecht and Windlab Africa MD Peter Venn at the cheque handover

Levana, an impoverished primary school in Lavender Hill, Cape Town, received a donation of R1m to build a library and school hall, as part of a partnership between Levana's headmaster and the Managing Director of Windlab Africa.

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 privileged 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 always 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 saw him mentoring 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. We've now achieved the first real step towards one of those goals. What's exciting is that the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) has also pledged half a million rand for the interior of the hall. We thank them for that."

Merlinda 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 The Albert Wessels Trust 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."