Irafaan Abrahams, 48, from Liesbeeck Primary School in Portland, Mitchells Plain, started his school shoe drive last year and visited Bramble Way Primary School on Wednesday.
“My 15-year-old son and I did the Cape Town Cycle Tour, my 10th and his first, to raise funds for this initiative, but this also coincides with Father’s Day that’s coming up,” he says.
“To give to others wherever we can is the aim of this [initiative] and, as a teacher, I see a need [among] many of our pupils during winter [for] a good pair of school shoes.”
Wednesday got off to a rocky start when gunshots were fired in the area.
“As we were going to have breakfast, gunshots rang out near the school. I saw the [reality of gang violence teachers] at the school go through.
“The principal came running and made an announcement for children to get into the classroom, teachers to lock classrooms and for everyone to stay low and on the ground.
“We have fire drills, they have gun drills,” Abrahams said sadly.
“A child came up to me and said ‘don’t worry, uncle, it goes like this here’.”
The kids were served lekker warme boeber and sandwiches, and for lunch there was akni and nice party packets for the laaities.
“Before breakfast, every child prayed first. That was the most humbling experience ever.
“What stole my heart was when a Grade 3 pupil shouted to his teacher, ‘juffrou, vanaand kan ek my ouma sê sy hoefie haar pension geld te gebruik vir skoene vir next term nie’.”