By Amy Gatland
Children in under-resourced schools face numerous challenges to their education (Image courtesy of the Read Educational Trust)
On a bright sunny morning on a leafy green street in the Southern suburbs of Cape Town, two little girls hop out of a car and run through the gates of their school, hand in hand. They are Margaret and Abby and they are best friends. They do not have the same colour skin or the same colour hair or eyes but they wear the same blue school dress. They have the same backpack and the same little blue sun hat on their head. That morning they will sing the same school song, spend the day learning in the same grade 2 classroom, from the same teacher and at lunch time they will enjoy the same nutritious food packed lovingly into their matching lunch boxes.
But in reality Margret and Abby, when not at school, are worlds apart. Margret’s mother works for Abby’s parents. She cleans their house. She lives in a one roomed house in Gugulethu and cannot read or write. But she is loved and seen as part of the family and so Abby’s parents decided that they wanted her daughter, Margret, to have the same opportunities as their own daughter and so they pay for her to attend the same school and make sure she has everything she needs. This is a true story.