Sasol in Society
Sasol Energy EVP, Maurice Radebe cuts ribbon at Marhulana Primary School

Marhulana Primary improving learning through nutrition

Learners from Marhulana Primary School in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg can look forward to receiving a meal every day, supported by a new mobile kitchen donated by Sasol Energy. Meeting basic requirements of the modern learning environment, such as a nutritious meal, enables learners to remain focussed.

On 12 June 2019, Sasol Energy visited Marhulana Primary School and handed over a mobile kitchen that will support the school’s feeding scheme. The facility will help improve child nutrition and thus education by providing learners with healthy meals, which contributes to brain function and concentration. It also provides a safe and protected storage facility for Marhulana Primary’s feeding scheme utensils, equipment, and product supplies.

“It is often stated that a healthy mind and body are the basic requirements for an individuals’ growth and development. Our brains consume more energy than any other organ in the body, so it leads that a healthy mind requires nutritional meals to support optimal performance,” said Maurice Radebe, Sasol’s Executive Vice President. “Ensuring a nutritious meal on a daily basis is as important as improving our schools.”

The choice of school, as well as the donation of the mobile kitchen, was made possible through partnerships. Radebe came in contact with Marhulana Primary through his participation in the Partners for Possibilities (PfP) “ExecsBack2School” programme. This ground-breaking initiative invites top executives from across SA’s major companies to swap time in the office for time to engage with school principals. PfP describes itself as a co-action, co-learning partnership between school principals and business leaders, enabling social cohesion through partnerships, and empowering principals to become change leaders in their schools and communities.

As part of its engagements with the school, Sasol Energy conducted a needs assessment in late 2018, identifying nutrition and career advice as amongst the schools most pressing needs. The mobile kitchen project was launched as a result and a career day took place at Marhulana Primary in March this year as part of the “ExecsBack2School” programme.

“We want to help our learners every day, many who come from very difficult circumstances,” said Sarah Mahlagare, Marhulana Primary School’s principal. “Our school is a place of stability for them, where they can learn, play and also get a meal. Sasol Energy’s contribution to Marhulana Primary School will go a long away and support our mandate as a community-based school in Tembisa. I cannot express how incredibly important this contribution is.”

Mahlagare’s words reflect the school’s mission: it is committed to providing functional and modern services that enable quality teaching and learning to protect and promote the right of every learner to quality, equitable and relevant education. Spread across 22 classes, from grades R to 7, Marhulana Primary School serves a key role in its community.

Sasol Energy team also recently hosted a career day for grade 7s. An array of career opportunities were presented to the learners, in the fields of Engineering, Human Resources, Science, Marketing, Community Development, amongst others.