Donation changes life of pupil who could hardly see

Round Table number 16 recently made a generous donation of an Onyx Portable HD device to a visually impaired grade 4 pupil at Southbourne Primary School.

Foundation phase teacher Hanlie Kruger said she had realised that Sihle Mavuso, who was in her class last year, was having difficulty with her eyesight. “I had to put her right in front of the class and she was 30cm away from the board, but she still could not see. We started enlarging her work on big paper. I bought her a normal magnifying glass and a dome magnifier, but still it was a struggle. We had to come up with ways to assist.”

Kruger said the school conducted research and found a ‘perfect machine’ that could help enhance the pupil’s vision, but could not afford it. “We put together a video and motivational letter and approached Round Table number 16 for assistance. Sihle started taking some of her own pocket money every week to help purchase the machine.”

Round Table number 16 is a non-profit organisation involved in different projects including raising funds to effectively make a difference in local communities.

Welfare department head Niall McDonald said the machine was going to help Mavuso improve her grades and further assist her in her schooling career. “We had received a full background of Sihle’s challenge in learning. We brought it to Round Table and thought it was a nice initiative to assist this excellent pupil in paying for the full amount and provide her with the equipment.” McDonald said the machine cost about R43 000.

“The beauty of this case is that the family seemed so genuine and they did not expect us to assist. They might have possibly looked for a little donation towards assisting her. The family was so appreciative and Sihle is an absolute gem. We made a unanimous decision to pay the full amount and get the machine as soon as possible. We have an open-door policy and if anything is needed in her development or with upgrading the machine we are here to assist,” said McDonald.

Table chairman Darryl Aspey added that when Mavuso’s story was brought to their attention, everyone at Round Table was more than happy to assist. “Sihle is a perfect example of how we are trying to make an impact in our community. The nice thing about this machine is that she can use it throughout her school career. Sihle’s story came from the heart and we appreciate that the school had made contact so we could assist.”

Grandfather Twister Siyazi said no words could ever be enough to thank the school and Round Table for the ‘massive’ intervention. “Since her birth she had always struggled with her eyesight. When we are watching television at home, she stands in front of it because she cannot see properly. Even with her food she has to look closely. It is like that with every object. Both the school and Round Table have done this wholeheartedly, we could feel it. I do not know how to thank them.” Siyazi said his grandchild’s life had changed for the better. “She now sits at the back of her class, all thanks to the support we have received.”

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