Bread For My Buddy, an idea championed by a Parow East Primary School pupil in 2006, has flourished into a project providing hundreds of needy pupils with sandwiches weekly, not just at the school but also at neighbouring schools.
“It started on the 1st of September 2006. A learner came with the idea to back a friend after a class discussion,” said Martina Heyns, Parow East Primary School principal.
“On a Friday, learners bring loaves of bread, sandwiches, or spreads for a friend in need. The loaves of bread are spread by the learners and delivered to a neighbouring school in need,” Ms Heyns said.
“The first donation was 220 sandwiches donated to Eurecon Primary School. We’ve come a long way since then. This term alone, 5 385 sandwiches were donated to neighbouring schools.
“Although we have learners in need too, we try to encourage the learners to donate something.”
Candice Wyngaard, a Parow resident whose son Channing attends the school, said they had started campaigning online and collecting peanut butter and jam since the beginning of the year after finding out about the project.
Channing, a Grade 3 pupil, took to Facebook, with the assistance of his family, and produced a video creating awareness around the project, calling on the public to donate.
To date, he and his family have received donations of just under 100kg of peanut butter and 100kg of jam.
“We wanted to get involved as a family. One day, Channing was talking about what he wanted for lunch, and I replied that we’ll give you double, and you’ve got to share with a child and collect for Bread For My Buddy,” Ms Wyngaard said.
“I think that was the first time he was actually aware of the situation because children are not really aware of it.”
Channing said he had been inspired to collect the bread spreads after noticing some of his peers had no lunch.
“I always have these nice lunches, and I feel like they feel left out, and I just wanted them to also have a super cool lunch,” he said.
Quan Wyngaard, Channing’s father, said they wanted to teach Channing the importance of acts of kindness and how they could impact the other children.
“We want to teach him that this is not for self gain but just to be the change because there is a need for it. We know because of our backgrounds,” he said.
Ms Wyngaard said it made her proud seeing Channing and his peers collect spreads for the project.
“He is a lot more confident: from a child that didn’t want to go to school, that didn’t feel like he fitted in, he is now feeling like he is making a difference. So it’s changed the dynamics a bit.”
Ms Heynes said they were thankful for any kind of donation, whether it be money, loaves of bread, spread, or sandwiches.