Friday 4 September was a memorable day for the Sakhamkhanya community near Stanger in KwaZulu-Natal. A major two-year upgrading project for the St Christopher Primary School, sponsored by Lafarge Mining South Africa in partnership with the Lafarge Education Trust, culminated in a handover ceremony for a total school refurbishment, construction and equipping of a kitchen, Grade R classrooms, ablution facilities and a well-equipped playground.
It has been a long journey for this school that was established in a mud-house in 1957. Until Lafarge's involvement classes were overcrowded, meals were prepared in a disused shipping container, and both learners and educators had to use a pit toilet system. Over one thousand (1 000) learners will now benefit from the transformed facilities.
Lafarge South Africa, a member of the LafargeHolcim Group, the world leader in building materials, firmly believes that as a responsible company it must help address the challenges of our society. The company plays an active role in the sustainable development of the communities in which it operates, with particular emphasis on contributing to a better education for the children in those communities, from which will come its future employees, engineers, managers and customers.
The Lafarge Community Trust and Lafarge Education Trust (LET) were created in 2006 by Lafarge South Africa to contribute to building better communities in areas wherein it operates and, in particular, uplift the education of young people in those areas. The LET, has invested over R7,5 million in sustainable education upliftment initiatives at twenty-six participating schools in northern KwaZulu-Natal, benefitting 15 thousand learners.
Lafarge Mining and the Lafarge Community Trust, working together with the Ntwashini Community Trust, were able to identify St Christopher Primary as a school that would most benefit from the company's support. The school is a neighbour of the Lafarge Stanger Quarry.
The formal cutting of the ribbon to hand over the new school facilities was conducted by the KwaDukuza Local Municipality Mayor, Councillor Ricardo Mthembu, together with Chairperson of the Lafarge Education and Community Trusts, Cheryl Carolus, and Lafarge Mining South Africa General Manager, Praveen Bechoo.
"The extensive upgrading of the St Christopher School was an inspiring example of what could be achieved by forming effective partnerships with all stakeholders together with perseverance and good planning," said Carolus. Bechoo added that Lafarge South Africa considered the day a significant one in enhancing the learning of pupils. "It will enable the learners and educators to focus on achieving excellence in the future. Lafarge Mining is an integral part of this community and we are proud to have contributed to making a difference."
NOTES TO EDITORS
With a well-balanced presence in 90 countries and a focus on Cement, Aggregates and Concrete, LafargeHolcim (SIX Swiss Exchange, Euronext Paris: LHN) is the world leader in the building materials industry. The Group has 115,000 employees around the world and combined net sales of CHF 33 billion (EUR 27 billion) in 2014. LafargeHolcim is the industry benchmark in R&D and serves from the individual homebuilder to the largest and most complex project with the widest range of value-adding products, innovative services and comprehensive building solutions. With a commitment to drive sustainable solutions for better building and infrastructure and to contribute to a higher quality of life, the Group is best positioned to meet the challenges of increasing urbanisation. More information is available on www.lafargeholcim.com
About Lafarge South Africa
Lafarge South Africa, a member of the LafargeHolcim group, manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates and readymixed concrete, fly ash, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings through its various business units. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better cities, rural towns and villages. For further information, visit our website on: www.lafarge.co.za
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