8 June 2017
Although no one went unaffected by the horror of the fires, our hearts go out to the many families who have suffered massive losses of homes and essentials. Our most recent record shows that at least 30 Oakhill families have lost their entire homes.
As a school our first responsibility is to ensure that the help offered within our community reaches those in immediate need as quickly and effectively as possible.
We are setting up a fund for financial donations and a drop-off point for donations of essentials and uniform.
We also want to ensure that families of current pupils are clear on arrangements at school, going forward.
Fire damage to the school
For your information, the school suffered limited damage to the Learning Commons and Tuckshop while the Staff Room burnt down completely. The rest of the school infrastructure is unscathed and operational for usual classes. The OSC suffered minor damage but sports practices can continue as per usual.
Classes and extra murals will commence on Monday, 12 June and continue as per usual.
There will be no exam papers written on Monday. We are in the process of rescheduling the exam time table and will communicate arrangements with pupils and parents timeously.
We are aware that some pupils lost uniforms. Pupils affected in this way may attend school in alternative gear. The school shop will be open from 07:15 every morning next week. Families with surplus second-hand uniform should please drop off at the school shop for redistribution to families who lost uniforms in the fire.
If you are in immediate need or would like to offer assistance
We are building a record of families in immediate need as well as those who are offering help, especially with accommodation, food, clothing and bedding. If you need immediate help with these or are offering help, please notify your class mom (Prep) or Head of House (College) via WhatsApp, phone or email or Karine Trollip via email on email@example.com.
Counselling for pupils in need
We realise that many of our pupils are traumatised and we will therefore increase our capacity for counselling and offer to pupils in need during school hours, free of charge. Please inform your class teacher (Prep) or mentor (College) if your child requires counselling. Please encourage your child to ask for help if they are anxious. Teachers will also be on the lookout for pupils in need.
Donating money to Oakhill families in immediate need
We are making a facility available to families who would like to contribute financially to Oakhill families in immediate need. Please donate directly into the school account and ensure that you use the CORRECT REFERENCE. Banking details below:
Acc Name: Oakhill School
Bank: FNB, Knysna
Branch code: 210214
Acc no.: 62002099605
Reference: FIRE (_SURNAME you may mention your surname if you prefer)
Donating supplies to Oakhill families in immediate need
Essential supplies to families in immediate need can be dropped off with Heather, next to the School Shop. Most useful items include non-perishable food, toiletries, household detergents, bedding (even if it is second hand), school uniforms and items of clothing. Drop-offs can be done on weekdays from tomorrow, Friday 9th June 2017. (Please note that tomorrow this will be open until 2pm only).
Donations to the wider Knysna community
For donations to the wider community, we were advised to encourage families to use the existing drop-off points in town, as advertised in the local media.
The generous response from our community to those in dire need has already been heart-warming. We hope that these arrangements will go some way towards alleviating the situation our families and the broader community find themselves in.
Jannie de Villiers