It was a close shave for the Steval Pumas who had their beards shaved off in support of building a library for orphans living in the Mataffin Woodhouse Community Care Base on Wednesday, 31 May.
The orphanage is home to more than 169 children between the ages of 2 and 19 years of age.
For the last six months, the players have been growing beards in order to raise money and collect books that will be donated to the children who are living in the impoverished Mataffin area next to their home field, the Mbombela Stadium.
Talking to one of the Steval Pumas stars at the Moroccan Barber shop in Nelspruit, Ryan Nell said it is a privilege for the team to be able to lay a solid foundation for the children in Mataffin.
“As the Steval Pumas players, we felt that we wanted to make a difference in the lives of these children. Reading is very important. We believe it is the small things that make a big difference,” said Nell whom started the initiative.
The Steval Pumas together with the Lowveld Show and Milviforce Puma N4 Nelspruit joined forces and have thus far collected 2 600 books for the children and secured a generous sponsorship from Standard Bank with regards to a container and more books.
Lindi Botha, the Mpumalanga Show public relations officer said one must teach children to love reading.
“Reading is very important for children and will ensure they have a future. We are very proud of our association with the Steval Pumas and grateful that Standard Bank has come on board and will be donating a container full of books for the community. One can expand your horizons through reading,” said Botha.
Tshepiso Phosa, owner of Milviforce Puma N4 Nelspruit said education is extremely important.
“It is important that we invest in children from a young age so that they will be able to know the difference between right and wrong and what is important in life,” said Phosa. Milviforce is the proud fuel sponsor for the Steval Pumas and have been involved with the team since 2016. Phosa sponsors the “Man of the Match” from every home game at Mbombela stadium with a fuel voucher.
Pieter Burger, CEO of Mpumalanga Rugby said he was very proud of the players for initiating this venture.
“The players want to thank the public for their continuous support by giving back to the Mataffin Woodhouse Community Care Base. This is truly an initiative that is well worth supporting,” said Burger.
The library will be handed over to the orphanage on Madiba Day. Please donate any children’s or educational books by dropping them off at the Milviforce Puma N4 Nelspruit garage.
You can also donate R30 by sending an sms “pumasbeard” to 42516. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.