One thing that has really struck me since moving to South Africa 4 years ago, is the sense of social responsibility that most South Africans seem to have adopted. And the school setting is no exception. Most South African schools from more privileged areas adopt a school/s from less privileged areas and do various things to help. It ranges from fund-raising projects, to food collection drives, to soup kitchens and to donating warm blankets and clothing in the winter months.
But the one aspect that strikes me the most is how they get the children actively involved in the community projects. At my sons school, the boys are taken to the adopted school from Grade 3 onwards, and they do various activities with the school children from the under privileged school.
I had the pleasure of accompanying my son and his class mates on Thursday. Their community project this year is a nursery school in Ivory park. On Thursday, we took the boys to Ivory park, where they actively participated with the little children, helping them with some art activities, and then feeding them lunch and playing with them in the playground.
As part of the 67 minutes for Nelson Mandela's birthday, the entire boys prep school had made sandwiches, which we delivered to the nursery school in Ivory park. This meant that not only did the nursery children get a meal that day ( in many cases the only meal they eat every day) but they could also take home enough sandwiches to feed their family for that day.
Ir was such a great lesson for our boys - to really grasp how privileged they are, in a country with so many children living below the bread line. And it was heart warming to watch how the prep school boys helped the little children in the tasks that they had to do.
To end off the day, the boys planted a tree in the play-ground. This tree will be a symbol over the years - as the boys and children grow, so will the tree. It will be interesting to revisit the school in a few years time and see how the tree has grown, and how the work that the Prep school is doing has benefited the nursery school, and the Ivory park community as a whole.
Here are some picture collages of our exhausting, but very rewarding day spent at Ivory park: