Media releases


Friday, 11 May 2018

A school principal from Ottery in Cape Town is determined to change the lives of the students at his school.

Ronald Fortune of Christel House is doing this by pushing his own personal boundaries. Determined to raise funds to purchase another much-needed school bus, he was sponsored to run the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in March.

When Cell C heard his story, they decided to help thanks to their ongoing Acts of Kindness campaign.

Christel House is a global non-profit organisation which operates nine education centres around the world with the Ottery school the only one in Africa. The school embraces a holistic education model targeted at some of Cape Town’s poorest communities including Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Phillippi and Mannenberg.

Aside from transport, the school also has an urgent need for equipment for its sports department and Acts of Kindness will see much needed apparatus purchased for the learners.

Says Fortune: “Our children come from the poorest of circumstances with untapped talents. The Cell C donation allows us to bring these abilities to the fore. With the little we have, we manage to achieve a lot. The school has produced eight national fencers over the years. One of these is our 2017 graduate Kesia Mathews who will represent South Africa at the All Africa Games and then at a national competition in Newcastle.

“We will be able to use the Cell C donation to uncover and nurture many more of our youngsters whose talents will remain dormant unless we bring them to the fore.”

He explains why he has put himself to the test to raise funds: “Poverty and lack of resilience are intertwined. When situations are difficult, people often want to give up. Running an endurance race is creating a similar, although temporary, scenario of severe strain, pain and the option to ‘give up’ when all seems hopeless. I chose to persevere – our students and their parents can learn from such a message. Therein lies the grit required to be resilient.

“I wanted my ultra-marathon experience to be a lesson for all Christel House students and their parents. I believe the plight of the poor child is not highlighted enough and this is one way to achieve this in some small way. Christel House is on a mission to break the cycle of poverty in any way possible. I believe it is all of our responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves. The cycle of poverty can be broken – one child at a time.”

Says Cell C Western Cape Managing Executive, Nezaam Harris: “We are delighted that in some small way we are able to make a difference and help Fortune and his learners.”

Christel House in Ottery has 750 students enrolled from Grade R to Grade 12. The main criteria for entry is a combined household income of R1 500 or less. Students are transported to the school’s campus where they receive quality education, nutritional meals, health care and guidance counselling. Last year, the school achieved a 98 percent matric pass rate while 91 percent of its graduates are either gainfully employed or studying which is well above national statistics.




As a proudly South African company, Cell C ascribes to the philosophy of compassion and kindness as the catalyst for real change. Every month, Cell C is spreading smiles by encouraging acts of kindness. An act of kindness is a gesture of goodwill towards someone or something. It doesn’t have to cost anything or much; what’s important is that it’s an act of expressing genuine care for another person or living being. It’s contagious and an opportunity for people to work together, create positive energy and inspire hope.

Issued by Nine Squared Communications of behalf of Cell C.

For more information contact Stephanie Weil on 084 999 8181 or email stephanie@ninesquared.co.za

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