Listen Live

Good Morning Angels: #JacaFamily dig deep to help Protearif Primary School

Certain parts of Gauteng, especially the West Rand, was massively affected by the recent tornado. The powerful tornado swept through the area and destroyed Protearif Primary School.

image destruction GMA protearif 1
Supplied

GOOD MORNING ANGELS 18 OCTOBER 2017 (LAERSKOOL PROTEARIF #JacaTornadoRelief)

The Jacaranda FM community dug deep into their hearts and pockets for Laerskool Protearif #JacaTornadoRelief

YOU CAN HELP:

SMS 'GMA', your name, and your pledge to 37942.

Protearif Primary School has set up a special tornado relief account. All proceeds will go towards replacing, fixing, and rebuilding what was lost in the tornado. The fund will be administered by the chairperson of the school, governing body, and the principal, and audited by Furter en Carstens Ouditeurs.

ACCOUNT DETAILS:

Laerskool Protearif

ABSA Savings Account

ACC: 928 439 2240

REFERENCE: Name and 'Noodfonds'

image destruction GMA protearif 2

image destruction GMA protearif 3

BACKGROUND:

Monday, 9 October 2017 started as a pretty normal 'back-to-school' day for many families: the morning rush between school and work.

After the week-long public school recess, the final stretch before exams had arrived - with the December break on the horizon. 

By Monday afternoon, the weather warnings started to materialise on the roads, with reports of hail, strong winds, and rain coming - especially on Gauteng's East and West Rand areas.

It was at around 15h30 when the sky turned ominously dark towards the west, the hail grew to the size of golf and tennis balls. At Laerskool Protearif, on the outskirts of Krugersdorp, 83 children in after-care were busy with homework. The little ones were playing and drawing indoors, as the weather didn’t allow for outside play.

“The wind was blowing very hard and suddenly the window’s shattered,” remembers a blonde Grade 6 boy, his blue eyes big and serious. 

“I thought somebody threw a rock at the window, but then I saw the big ice balls on the floor! Our teacher told us to duck under our desks, stay calm and pray.”

It went quiet for a brief moment before the tornado hit with full force, ripping off the roof above the children's heads, trusses, sealing, iron plates, and all, smashing it on the ground.

For about 10 to 15 minutes, the children huddled under their desks: some crying, some praying, some crying-while-praying while the tornado tore its relentless path through their school.

A tall Grade 7 boy is very quiet as his fellow tornado-surviving school mates tell their stories. He confesses: “I was scared … very scared, because my little brother was in another class room. I didn’t know if he was okay. I was scared that he would die."

In total, 13 classrooms were severely damaged. The roof has been ripped off, windows broken, projectors and inter-active white boards smashed all over the grounds.

The double-storey school building has still not been declared safe for entry. The debris is evidence of the force of nature that hit Laerskool Protearif and the premises have been closed until further notice. One child was hospitalised for two days with a 12-stitch cut to her head and another on her toe. A teacher was also taken to hospital for some treatment and a check-up.

“It’s a miracle that we all survived with our lives, mostly unharmed,” says principal Donna Lourens. “We were truly protected by God and we have much to be thankful for.”

The school is only insured for half of the cost of the damage. “Our biggest need is for the roof to be replaced so that the school can re-open in January 2018,” says Lourens.

After the children stayed home for the rest of last week, they resumed the academic program at a nearby private school and church hall. “We are so thankful for the generosity, support and understanding from the local community. It’s strange how it takes a disaster to bring us closer to one another,” says Lourens.

Dozens of Jacaranda FM listeners, concerned parents, and members of the school community sent requests to Good Morning Angels, asking us to help Protearif Primary School.

Below is one of those requests:

ORIGINAL REQUEST: 

Dear Angels,

I work in the North West Province and live in Krugersdorp. I drive past this school almost on a daily basis even though my children attend a different school.

I drove past Protearif this morning and the devastation of yesterday's storm was horrific. It really brought reality to what actually occurred. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm a middle aged father and I would have been terrified myself. I cannot imagine what went through the minds of those young children.

The mental and physical traumatising experience those children must have gone through, we as adults, will never understand.

I prayer that GMA can assist by asking businesses to come together to fix the school to get it back to where it was, before the proposed dates of next year. Let these children be given the chance to finish the year, in their school, with their friends and teachers.

Let's bring the community of the West Rand together to help our youth, community and business to support the re-development of this school like we did for Knysna.

Please hear my call for help for a school that neither of my children attend. It's just a call out for humanity.

I listen to Jacaranda every minute of the day  because I spend a lot of my time in the car.

May God Bless GMA for all your hard work, passion and continuous support for those in need.

Regards

Adrian 

Show's Stories