PRETORIA, South Africa, July 23, 2020/ — The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation, donated over 3 000 masks to schools, orphanages and old age homes in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, on 21 and 22 July 2020.
The donations form part of the annual Nelson Mandela International Day, celebrated on 18 July, as part of former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The CSIR’s objective is to provide a safe learning environment for school children and also alleviate risk in the living spaces where older citizens reside, in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The CSIR offered a helping hand to schools (Masakhane Primary School, Sikhululekile High School, Phuthanang Primary School, Walmansdal High School, Ikatisong High School, Kutullo Disability and Day Care Centre); orphanages (Tswaranang Orphanage, Luvuyo Orphanage Home, Grace of Help) and; old age homes (Lerato la Bagolo Old Age Home and Ikwezi le Themba).
The masks will be used to support learners, frontline staff and essential workers in the schools, orphanages and old age homes, ensuring that education, in a disadvantaged community, continues and that the vulnerable are protected and cared for.
CSIR Acting Group Executive: Human Capital, Andile Mabindisa, said the CSIR is contributing to government’s call to assist and protect vulnerable communities during this pandemic, and this is in line with the organisation’s mandate to improve the lives of South Africans.
“During this pandemic, pupils and the elderly are most vulnerable. The CSIR wants to ensure that learners, especially in disadvantaged school, are still able to attend school in a safe and enabling environment during this difficult time. The learners are potential science, engineering and technology base candidates, while the elderly are identified as vulnerable as they are more at risk of contracting COVID-19, and have less chances of recovery. Therefore, they must be protected all the time,” said Mabindisa.