I had quite the enlightening experience a few weeks ago when I went with a few lovely people from Virgin Atlantic (The South African department) to a very underprivileged, but very deserving school in the middle of Ennerdale Johannesburg, Sibekiwe primary School.
The few days before our visit, I sat with the family in our dining room making up 600 Christmassy packs to hand out to the children. The packs were made up of different candies, crisps and a cool drink. Quite a mission, but once we got our production line going, it went quite quickly.
The full reward, however, came when we got to the school. It’s in the middle of a township and is nothing more than a small plot of land with two or three small classrooms on the property. (For 600 children!) A few months ago, Virgin Atlantic had visited them and organized a bore-hole water pump and the start of a vegetable garden for the community. Before that, they had no running water for kms. We visited their veggie garden and helped fix up a few of the plants that needed attention and a bit of watering. It’s amazing how much good a community can do with a positive attitude. The school’s choir performed a few songs for us and then we got down to planting a few trees in their barren yard with Trees for Africa.
After a morning in the sun and 16 new trees in the yard, all the children lined up patiently and received their little Christmas packages from us. It was so much fun meeting some of these kids. They’re filled with so much ambition and eagerness, I can only wish that their futures are as bright as their dispositions. Very inspiring to hear from the future doctors and policemen of our country.
In a few months Virgin is taking a trip back there to see how everything is going and I’m definitely eager to tag along again. Very rewarding experience. Especially this time of year. 🙂
Here are a few photos from our trip:
Sibekiwe Primary. “Any school is better than no school.”
The awesome choir.
Fixin’ up the veggie garden!
Michael from Trees for Africa explaining what the teachers could do with all those wonderful herbs.
Myself, not looking very farmer-like, with the kiddies.
The loot! (Well, a very small part of it.)