South African households have been hit hard by COVID-19. The financial burden caused by the pandemic has left many families vulnerable and unable to afford to pay school fees.
SPARK Schools in collaboration with Ignite Education Fund launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund earlier this year. The fund was established to assist SPARK Schools families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
SPARK Schools CEO Stacey Brewer said the network was doing everything it could to assist families who had been affected by retrenchments, salary cuts and lost income in their businesses due to the pandemic.
“Without support, families affected by the lockdown will be left with no alternative but to default on school fees because they have no financial safety net. This will lead to interruptions in learning for their children, creating gaps in their education that would be hard to fill in the future,” said Brewer.
In its first round of donations, The Ignite Education Fund has paid out full school fees until the end of the year for seven families.
Father of two, Vincent Chaukura, says he is thankful to SPARK Schools for helping with the relief fund.
“The fund has already helped me out quite considerably since we received salary cuts up to 70%. Many thanks to the people at Ignite and SPARK Schools for assisting with the relief fund,” Chaukura says.
Phindile Khoza also shared her relief after receiving the news that her child was also selected to receive funding.
“It will help relieve my financial burden during these times as I have been affected by the pandemic. Not receiving a salary, as a single parent is hard, you try to save for rainy days, but it is never enough. The funding will help ensure that my kids stay in school and still get the quality education they need,” she says.
If it wasn’t for the financial relief, Khuthadzo Mathepe says their daughter would have had to drop out of school.
“It has helped our daughter stay in school, and she will progress to the next grade. Due to financial constraints, she would have had to drop out this year. It’s nice to know that even private schools help us when we are in need,” Mathepe says.
The COVID-19 Relief Project will continue to raise money for more SPARK families whose financial stability has been shaken by the effects of the pandemic and the resulting national lockdown through donations.
The Ignite Education Fund was established in 2019 to reduce financial exclusion and get more South African children to attend private schools.
To learn more about the Ignite Fund and how you can help more children to stay in school, please visit https://www.igniteeducationfund.co.za/.