Small Changes Seed Great Growth

>>Small Changes Seed Great Growth

Small Changes Seed Great Growth

Nelson Mandela is an iconic figure in the history of South Africa and aptly named the father of our rainbow nation. A passionate advocate for children’s rights, one of his first presidential priorities was to start a charitable fund in the hopes of creating a lasting legacy for this country’s youth – to which he donated a third of his salary over the period of five years. Every year on July 18th, his birthday is celebrated through various 67 minute projects that seek to give something back to the community. This year, as Madiba’s birthday fell on the last Saturday of the school holidays, we were there surprise the back-to-school learners on Monday with their winter beanies.

Kayamadi Primary Schoool believe ‘Education is the key’

Bruce’s son, Benji was there with his camera to capture the excitement.

Bruce Jack has long been an active supporter through both Accolade and The Drift Farm of two schools in the Kayamandi informal settlement outside Stellenbosch: Ikaya Pre-Primary School and later Kayamandi Primary School. On an annual basis The Drift Farm donates beanies to the Grade R’s as part of their school uniforms – a contribution that allows these energetic learners to keep warm during the height of the Cape winter.

Our first stop was at Kayamandi Primary School, a school whose initial learners came from the huge waiting list for Ikaya.

Driving in through the front gates, the first thing one notices is the vibrant vegetable garden: this is made available to parents in the community who most need help providing healthy, fresh food for their children. The governing body hopes to grow this project so that they can eventually sell the surplus produce to raise funds for the school.

We were warmly welcomed by Deputy Principal Ms Mdoda, Ms Witbooi and Mr Mhamba, whose eloquence and humour set the tone for a very happy hour – for both children and adults. He congratulated Bruce on his continued commitment to the school as well as the adoption of truly South African concepts such as African Time – Bruce was late!

Ms Witboo with Mr Mhamba, master of short ceremonies (and stand up comedy!)

Deputy Principal, Ms Mdoda (who’s first name is Happiness) with Bruce and Benji Jack

Wasting little time on ceremony, the Grade R’s lined up as The Drift Farm staff handed them their beanies and Izzy was an instant hit with her group hugs – proof that it’s often the simple things that generate the most joy.

Winding through the colourful streets, we made our way to Ikaya Pre-Primary School, an establishment vital in creating a strong educational foundation for later learning: their school motto ‘Ntinga ntaka ndini’ (which translates to ‘the sky is the limit’) encourages these youngsters to reach for the stars. Principal Ms Mgijima, Deputy Principal Ms Mdleleni and teachers graciously received us, guiding excited learners into neat lines in the quad so we could give them their beanies.

Jaco and Benji hand out beanies

Jason and a happy learner ‘fist bump’

Bruce has been associated with this school for over a decade, working together with various partners to help fill the gaps in government spending. Special mention must be of Jaco van der Merwe who has driven these projects with infectious enthusiasm and passion, making sure that the small but powerful seeds of promise planted will grow into remarkable ‘trees’, the shade of which will extend to benefit others beyond the boundaries of their direct community. The quad was soon bustling with excited learner’s showing off their smart new beanies and celebrating with high fives, handshakes, more group hugs and even a game of hopscotch. If this is a taste of our nation’s future, we in the presence of a mighty young forest!

(two of Benji Jack’s beautiful photographs from the day)

Bea takes a break from photography to jump for joy

2018-10-05T13:40:06+00:00August 4th, 2015|Categories: News|