Schools are more than just educational institutions, they also serve as pillars for communities, strengthening civic life and attracting families and jobs. Problems associated with inadequate school buildings are not exclusive to deep rural communities in KwaZulu Natal affected by poverty, they are widespread and a common narrative for many schools in South Africa. Issues such as freezing temperatures during winter can have an effect on learners learning abilities especially when the school lacks proper infrastructure to accommodate learners during the chilly winter season. This has an effect on attendance as parents keep their children from attending school due to the low temperatures experienced in the area.

Halelisani Primary school in Greytown faces a number of issues which make learning a challenge for many of the learners going to this school. The school lacks proper infrastructure as they share one JoJo tank in order to access water and the school is still using pit toilets.

ActionAid SA donated a heater to grade one learners’ in Halelisani Primary School. The heater served as a motivation for more learners to attend the school during winter, as temperatures drop as low -2 degrees in Greytown, KwaZulu Natal. Mrs. Khumalo who is a Grade one teacher said “Compared to the previous years, I have seen attendance advancing compared to other winter seasons in the previous years. Some parents have expressed joy knowing that the classroom is safe and warm for their kids and they are grateful to ActionAid South Africa for the support.”

Whilst 6-year-old learner, Smangaliso shared “I feel so happy coming to a warm classroom. I love it the heater.”