Last week I was commissioned by Nedbank to photograph an event at a primary school in Chatsworth, South of Durban. For those of you who don’t know, Chatsworth is a predominantly Indian suburb and has long been recognised as an impoverished community.
In the midst of this impoverishment is Highlands Primary School who’s children have been collecting bread tags for charity. When a school collects a certain number of tags they are rewarded by the sponsors of the program in the form of being able to award wheelchairs to deserving recipients. The children at this school (which is incidently a Section 20 school, meaning they receive no funding from government at all) managed to collect over 400,000 bread tags and as such were able to donate 4 wheelchairs to members of their community who could otherwise not afford them. In addition to the wheelchairs, the sponsors Nedbank constructed a vegi-tunnel for the school, which is a mini vegetable garden in a protected tunnel-like dome (yes, I had no idea either).
The special assembly I was there to photograph went on for about 90 minutes, during which time the school and the sponsors handed over wheelchairs to 3 of the 4 recipients, before the children were sent back to their classrooms to be treated to pizza from Roman’s Pizza. For many of them it was the first time they had ever eaten pizza. During the assembly I managed to squeeze off a few shots of some of the kids. It’s always fascinating to me to watch how children behave when they are forced to sit in a confined space and listen to adults jabber on about stuff that they probably couldn’t care much about one way or the other. :-)