NGO helping Vuwani pupils struggles to accommodate surge in number of pupils

VUWANI, June 7 (ANA) – A Limpopo non-profit organisation helping pupils in strife-ridden Vuwani to continue their studies said on Tuesday that it was struggling to cope with an influx at its facilities as the schools in the area remain closed.

The Munna Ndi Nnyi organisation said it was busy accommodating hundreds of pupils but the swelling numbers were becoming unmanageable.

Munna Ndi Nnyi’s Badwell Mufunwaini told the African News Agency (ANA) that 800 pupils had now approached the NGO.

“Our challenge is that we are now struggling to accommodate children from the Vuwani areas. At first, we thought we would manage, but the number has increased,” said Mufunwaini.

Large numbers of pupils, including matric students, in Vuwani and the neighbouring villages have not been able to attend school since violent protest erupted here a month ago.

At the beginning of May, Vuwani residents took to the streets demanding that government reverse its decision to incorporate their area into a new municipality.

Schools were shuttered after more than 20 were torched in the unrest that also paralysed local businesses.

Despite the deployment of mobile classrooms, many schools remain closed.

Mufunwanini said with more than 300 pupils in one hall, it has become “more difficult and expensive” to run the programme. The organisation said it cost R4,000 a week to provide lessons to the 800 students that have approached it for help.

“We don’t have the funds, and we end up pleading for pupils to pay R10 per week,” he said.

Mufunwaini said schools in nearby areas were reluctant to accommodate the students for fear of reprisal from the protestors.

“We tried to seek accommodation from other schools, but they registered their concerns and fear – concerns that they cannot be seen accommodating pupils from Vuwani and fear that their schools will be targeted,” he said.

Mpho Rambau, a grade 12 pupil at Vhudzani Secondary School, is one of the students attending lessons through the Munna Ndi Nnyi programme.

“I gave up on waking up to go to our schools as it was not promising that we would be taught, hence we decided to join others at the Munna Ndi Nnyi centre,” she said.

Rambau said she thought R10 was not too much, but transport to get to the centre was expensive.
Some of the pupils have to travel up to 20 kilometres to get there.

Police were this week still maintaing a strong presence in Vuwani.

– African News Agency (ANA)

Disclaimer: This story is pulled directly from the African News Agency wire, and has not been edited by Mail & Guardian staff. The M&G does not accept responsibility for errors in any statement, quote or extract that may be contained therein.

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