Belsize mum fundraising to boost music at school in South Africa

Pupils at Grassdale High School in South Africa

Pupils at Grassdale High School in South Africa - Credit: Chesline Lendore

A Belsize mum has organised a fundraising drive to promote creativity in a Cape Town school.  

Chesline Lendore, 50, who lives off Belsize Lane, is fundraising to help Grassdale High School purchase a PA system and add to its extracurricular activities.    

Originally from Cape Town herself, Chesline sponsors a girl with learning disabilities at the school.

“I believe that all children, regardless of their educational level, should have the opportunity to thrive. There should be an equal balance between academics and creative art,” she said.

The school built a hall in 2021 but it is still very bare and Chesline is sponsoring for a PA system. It would cost around £2,500, including audio/mixing, microphones, speakers and installation.

“I thought it would be nice to have a PA system so that they can do, recital, dancing, singing," said Chesline.

“How wonderful would it be if the students could be part of a big band or rock band, or have music lessons in general at school? They most certainly do not have this privilege there."

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Fundraising is common in schools in South Africa. Government aid is available but not enough to support schools, according to Chesline. Students have to provide books, stationery and toilet rolls.

Chesline said: “I have seen many children in South Africa who have learning disabilities fall by the wayside, roaming the streets, using drugs, or being part of a gang because the facilities at government schools aren't sufficient enough to enrich the needs of all the students in these school.”

She is encouraging people to donate so that the school can purchase not only the PA system but also other equipment to promote creative art.

“I wish I had a magic wand and everything would be provided for them. They never know how far they can get should they become more creative in an academic environment," she said.

“Unfortunately with the Covid pandemic, it's become even harder for these types of schools to do fundraisers. I know it is a very hard time for people, but I hope something good is going to happen and people can help me to give a donation to the school."

Nearly £2,500 has been raised so far. To donate, visit https://gofund.me/fc6352a8