Siya Kolisi and Grey High School

Kolisi and the Grey Boys

Old Greys and current Grey boys of Grey High School in Port Elizabeth – including Springbok captain Siya Kolisi – have banded together to help families hard hit by the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Appeals for donations were made to the greater Grey community for two initiatives – namely the Kolisi food relief project, as well as an appeal for the schools’ technology challenges. Parents, friends and Old Boys rallied together and donated over R150 000 towards making up food parcels for families in need. The Kolisi Foundation, founded by Siya and Rachel Kolisi, collaborated with Grey to make up these food parcels. 23 May 2020 marked the first day of many for the distribution of parcels to Port Elizabeth families in need as well as to Siya’s primary school, Emsengeni Primary school in Zwide.

Grey students gave of their own time during lockdown to assist with packing and distributing the food parcels.  “I feel like everyone should try to do their own part just to help out.  It’s a simple thing that anyone can do”, was the sentiment of Daniel Butler, a Grade 12 Grey pupil.

Along with the appeal for food, The Grey Foundation also started raising funds toward assisting technologically disadvantaged families. “Connectivity and devices to allow learners to continue to study during lockdown is an imperative project at this time,” stated Andrew Bradley, Chairman of the Grey Foundation. “Ensuring Tomorrow’s Leaders’ is our goal, and we have been pleased by the support of our donors, both locally and particularly abroad. All funds raised towards the technology appeal will be used to equip those boys’ with limited data and devices with the necessary tools to continue learning online. 

To date, thanks to generous donors, the Grey Foundation has achieved 50% of its target and has already funded digital infrastructure to facilitate online learning in some of the classrooms, as well as supply laptops to some of the boys who have only been able to access online learning from their own or their parents’ cellphones.

Rector of Grey High School in Port Elizabeth, Christian Erasmus, mentioned that there are two main challenges facing the school going forward – having the computer equipment to prepare and broadcast lessons, and secondly to have the boys receive those lessons. “There are so many families that are struggling out there who simply do not have access to the technology to learn effectively via the Internet.”