Tata International’s South Africa offices promote reading through art

July 25, 2019

Tata Africa Holdings (SA) as well as Tata Automobile Corporation SA (TACSA) in partnership with Valued Citizens Initiative (VCI) donated mathematic guides, dictionaries, encyclopedias and motivational books to Alexander High School in Alexandra, Gauteng on July 11, 2019. The books were donated to benefit Grade 12 learners and the theme was the importance of reading and how art is able to broaden one’s thoughts.

The donation of books forms part of a two-year Bridging for Life programme supported by Tata International and managed through VCI. The aim of the programme is to impart essential life skills to the learners, which range from emotional intelligence, effective communication, self leadership and management, career development, citizenship education to ensure academic resilience.

The day included a workshop by South African artist, Daniel Selibe, who introduced the learners to visual art and discussed with them the meaning of art and expression, the symbolism of colors, signs and symbols, including focal points and perspectives. Learners were encouraged to share and interpret, visually with their classmates and visitors, what the theme ‘opening your mind’ means to them.

Mr Len Brand, Head – Distribution, Tata International, shared with the learners some of his life lessons and encouraged them to become avid readers. “You determine your own future in life and we must not allow our brains to limit our ability to reach our full potential,” was his message.

“It is important as an organisation to touch base with communities. Our philosophy to promote social and economic development of local communities through education, entrepreneurship and health initiatives is a key component of the Tata business values and belief system,” he added.

Ms Zoleka Lebelo, Principal of Alexandra High School, seeks to serve the Alexandra community by providing a consistently high standard of education. Under her leadership the school has achieved a matric pass rate of 89 per cent up from 83 per cent in 2014. She also expressed her gratitude to Tata International for the valuable investment.

The Bridging for Life Programme is managed by Valued Citizens Initiative, an NGO founded by Carole Podetti Ngono in 2001 with the aim of developing citizenship education in public schools. It is accredited by the Gauteng department of higher education and has been supported by Tata International since its inception in 2017. The programme has proven its effectiveness over the years in assisting learners through the transition from high school to institutions of higher education and training.

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