The Lafarge Education Trust Schools Handover and Awards Ceremony
The ceremonial handover on 17 May of two fully-equipped new classrooms to Sihubela High School and administration blocks for both Njingili and Zinqobele High Schools by the Lafarge Education Trust was a special occasion for the Mzimela community of northern KwaZulu-Natal. Adding to the excitement on the day was the presentation of the annual Lafarge Community Trust Awards for Excellence.
The Awards were launched in 2012 with the aim of motivating school learners, educators and community members to strive for excellence by showing public appreciation for their efforts. The Awards complement the work of the Lafarge Education Trust (LET), which has invested over R4,5 million since 2010 in sustainable education upliftment initiatives at twenty-five participating schools in the Mzimela community, benefitting 15 000 learners. Through the projects, over 100 local people were employed to build the structures.
The Lafarge Community Trust (LCT) and Lafarge Education Trust (LET) were created in 2006 by major building materials company, Lafarge South Africa, which has a strong presence in northern KZN through its Cement Grinding Station and Readymix concrete facility at Richards Bay, together with various aggregates quarries.
Principal of Sihubela High School, Mr Khumbulani Magwaza welcomed the guests, who were given an overview of the progress of development projects among the Mzimela schools by the Chairperson of the Mzimela Principals Association, Mr MR Mkhize. The Superintendent General of the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, presented the keynote address and conveyed the best wishes of the MEC for Education, who had expressed his keen interest in the work of the Lafarge Trusts at a meeting with the Trustees the day before.
The handover ceremony of two classrooms for the Sihubela learners was performed by the Chairperson the Lafarge Trusts, Cheryl Carolus and Thierry Legrand, Country CEO of Lafarge South Africa. Carrying out the traditional cutting of the tape, Carolus said, "We are delighted to hand over these new facilities to Sihubela High School and help meet the desperate need for better surroundings conducive to learning. Our work relies on people and partnerships, and in this regard, we thank the Mzimela community leaders for their support and commend their active commitment to building a new future for their children."
At the presentation of the Awards that followed, over ninety Mzimela learners and educators were recognised for their performance excellence in various categories. Awards were presented to fifty of the Most Improved Learners in mathematics, science and English, the Top Achieving Matriculant, and the Best Educators in mathematics, science and English. Other awards recognised the Best Overall School Performance, Good School Leadership, School Sport, and pride in a school's environment.
After the presentations, some words of encouragement for the learners and educators were given by the District Manager of the Department of Education, David Chonco and Lafarge's Legrand.
Congratulating all the recipients of Lafarge Community Trusts Awards, Legrand said,
"At Lafarge South Africa we are committed to helping our neighbours to better their circumstances and, in particular, to improve skills levels and standards of education. Our success as a company in a highly competitive world will depend on finding talented, skilled technicians, engineers, managers and leaders among communities such as yours. Take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Lafarge Trusts and create a better future for yourselves and your community."
NOTES TO EDITORS
A world leader in building materials, Lafarge employs 65,000 people in 64 countries, and posted sales of €15.8 billion in 2012. As a top-ranking player in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses, it contributes to the construction of cities around the world, through its innovative solutions providing them with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful, and better connected. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities in order to contribute to more sustainable construction and to better serve architectural creativity. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark in recognition of its sustainable development actions. More information is available on Lafarge's website: www.lafarge.com
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