Former FIDI Charity project

Bertrams Junior School (BJS) Charity Project

Project Background

FIDI’S young mover’s club the FIDI 39 Club, adopted Bertrams Junior School as their charity project in 2006, largely due to the relentless and enthusiastic promotion of the school by Laura Wegener, Group International Director at Stuttafords Johannesburg (South Africa).
Bertrams’ motto ‘Ever Forward’ tied in perfectly with FIDI’s vision and the FIDI Board decided to make the school its global FIDI Charity project until 2015. In total $203,000 was raised by the FIDI Community and the donations are now being used to build new classrooms and facilities.

The biggest donor, FIDI Affiliate Santa Fe Relocation Services were inspired to provide the school with a non interest loan to purchase new buildings and subsequently donated $5 per shipment across the Santa Fe network that reimbursed the loan by early 2014.  CFO of Santa Fe, Alan Cartwright who thought up the donation per shipment programme said ‘’We believe in the project and our support for Bertrams is fully embedded in Santa Fe’s Respect Corporate Social Responsibility programme”. Additional funds raised have been used for the current building project along with other FIDI Community donations.

About the school

Bertrams is located in Paarl, am under-priviledged suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. The school educates around 500 pupils and the FIDI funded building project includes the creation of 5 new classrooms allowing a much larger number of local children to attend school and also enabling older children to stay on at school to complete their primary education.

School Principal Ms Khaniyi Twala, had a long term ambition to grow BJS into a fully-fledged primary school. “Today we only offer four grades and a reception year. That means that children have to change schools at age 10, when they are still quite fragile. The other school is in a different area, more difficult to reach. Those obstacles often lead to the young children dropping out of school’’. According to School Choice International, in South Africa only 48% of students who begin Grade 1 complete their school education. Thanks to the generous donations of the FIDI Community, Ms Twala’s dream is becoming a reality.

Current building works status – September 28, 2016

Last week the elected construction company, Kwikspace began the ardeous task of demoliting derelict buildings and preparing the landscape and foundations to build on. Here is a construction worker at the very start of the demolition:

The demolition and groundwork process is expected to take 2 months, watch this space as we follow all the work developments here. We look forward to sharing photos of the school classrooms in the very near future!

In January 2014, a FIDI delegation received a warm welcome from the school pupils and its teachers. The visit helped to secure permission from the relevant authorities to agree to the school’s expansion.