Globally, the company dedicated June, July and August to protecting and beautifying schools worldwide, using research-based colours and PPG colour expertise to help students thrive.

Mamelodi Secondary, also known as Mamelodi High School, is one of 27 schools to be given a transformative facelift in 2023, says PPG.

The local project brought together more than 80 South African volunteers, including:
  • PPG employees
  • customers
  • suppliers, and
  • school teachers.

The volunteers helped paint Mamelodi High with products from a number of PPG business units in South Africa. The  undertaking involved refurbishing more than 10 school buildings, which included:
  • 33 classrooms
  • railings
  • road markings
  • curbs
  • parking bays, and
  • signage.

Over 4 500L litres of Prominent Paints and PPG paints and coatings were used in the refurbishment, and when the last coat had cured, the school was unrecognisable from what it was just a month ago, PPG adds.

The most memorable feature of the project is an 88 metres2 mural painted in the school's central quad. Designed by Strange Harvest mural artist Murray Cowan, the vibrant multi-dimensional work of art is intended to inspire learners with meaningful imagery and messages they can relate to, says PPG.

The three cornerstones of a Mamelodi Secondary School education include:
  1. academics
  2. sport, and
  3. culture.

These pillars are creatively represented in the artwork using 16 striking colours. Forward in Faith, the school motto, is included as a reminder to the learners that whatever challenges they might face when it comes to learning — no matter how hard it may be — they must push forward and master their academics, PPG says.

Danie du Preez, PPG sales director of Protective & Marine Coatings in Africa, says, "As a company, PPG has a strong sense of social accountability. We help people through our community engagement efforts, and improving educational facilities in the markets where we operate is just one of our focus areas."

"In a country where the education system leaves many children behind due to poorly maintained school buildings and crumbling infrastructure, the need for school refurbishments — through public-private partnerships — could not be more urgent. We are gratified to help beautify Mamelodi High and to create learning spaces that inspire bright starts for its learners," adds du Preez.

Global research indicates that painting with colours specifically intended to enhance learning can improve both students' and teachers' experiences in the classroom. Colour can increase engagement in learning, and it's been shown that high levels of student engagement are linked to stronger academic performance, PPG says.

With this in mind, most of PPG's transformation projects have used a single global palette developed by the company's colour experts. At Mamelodi High, volunteers used a foundation palette with colours Swirling Smoke (light grey) or Happy Trails (cappuccino beige). Studies prove that access to nature and natural-feeling surroundings helps foster creativity, alleviate stress and increase positivity, PPG adds.

Energy was provided with:
  • Teeny Bikini (deep blue)
  • Succulent Leaves (muted green), and
  • Golden Hour (zesty yellow).

When it comes to colours, too many stimuli and the senses are overloaded; too little and productivity suffers. Du Preez says these colours are guaranteed to strike just the right balance and have been chosen specifically for learners aged 14 to 18.

In addition to painting spaces, PPG supplied the school with 35 new non-magnetic whiteboards (2.4 metres by 1.2 metres) and 35 new blackboards (two metres by 1.2 metres).

Mamelodi High School principal Mogo Selahle says that gratitude is the brush that colours the world with kindness.

"We are indebted to PPG for selecting our school as the beneficiary of this year's COLOURFUL COMMUNITIES® programme. The generous paint donation has brought vibrant possibilities and endless creativity to our environment," adds Selahle.

"Support like this illuminates the learning path and will inspire our students to dream, create and thrive. Our school is the heart of our community, and this investment will help us produce well-rounded, contributing members of society," Selahle says.

"In a world where education is the key to a better future, we believe in the power of giving back. It took over 10 000 volunteering hours and more than 1 400 litres of paint to finish all 27 schools around the globe, and PPG provided more than USD$1-million (R19 000 000) in support to recipient schools," du Preez says.

"These projects have all been fueled by our commitment to protecting and beautifying the world and our passion for improving the lives of others — specifically the next generation of leaders. We feel confident that our legacy will be enjoyed by many for years to come," du Preez concludes. 

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