As part of our 30th birthday celebrations, we joined forces with small family run charity SOS Africa, who work to empower South African township children through education.
It was our ambition to raise £30,000, to build an Education Centre which would fulfil a holistic care and education programme for underprivileged children, in partnership with St Michaels School.
Situated on Ouderbrug Farm, Grabouw, St Michaels originated as a church school to provide basic education for the farm workers children. The poverty in Grabouw is multidimensional. High unemployment rates, limited access to housing and sanitation as well as basic education are coupled with alarming rates of HIV/AIDS. After a thorough process profiling all of the schools in this region, SOS Africa were drawn to the ethos of St Michaels School, and the progressive attitude of the Principle Mr Rehard Smith.
However there are challenges. Children of seasonal workers often only attend school during the ‘fruit season’ there is poor parental involvement and most of the parents cannot afford the basic uniform for the children. Alcohol and drug abuse is rife among parents and children are in need of counselling and life skills to support these challenging backgrounds. At school, classes are big with teachers feeling over stretched, language is a growing problem and there are large drop-out rates.
We hoped our Education Centre would help to develop and motivate children. Offering a holistic education programme that will allow them to flourish.
Discover our journey making our dreams into a reality.
Above: Our friend Suzanne Parry, who worked with Porta Romana for many years, visited our proposed site, and met some of the delightful children at the school.
Left: Artist impression and concept plans for the Porta Romana Education Centre.
We invited our team to enter a draw, to be one of four Porta Romana employees who will head out to help build the site. Thank you to the children for announcing our four winners.
(MELRAY, BRITNEY, BENECIA, TASHNEE, RAYNICK, AMELEO, JANCO, BENECIA, NATHAN AND KAYD)
On the 8th of September 2018, Porta Romana Team Members Spencer Marsh, Claire King, Yeng-Be Taylor, Simon Dillon and Nikki Shrives leapt out of a plane at 15,000ft in a tandem skydive jump over the South of England.
The PR skydive team approached the jump with varying degrees of bravery, fear and denial. All five members made the jump and raised over £2,500 towards the build!
A team of 13 Porta Romana employees including our Founders Andrew and Sarah Hills, took part in the Royal Parks London Half Marathon on October 14th 2018.
Whilst we pride ourselves on being a fit & healthy bunch at Porta Romana not all of us are natural runners, especially long distance runners.
After vigorous training programs in sweltering conditions, who could have imagined Britain’s hottest summer in history would coincide with this challenge, our poor team of runners had to run in torrential rain!
Nevertheless, all of the team made it across the finish line raising over £3,600 towards the build.
In a bid to exceed our ambitious target, to raise £30,000 to build an education centre in South Africa, we commissioned five leading artists and designers to decorate a Porta Romana lamp in their own distinctive style, which was sold at Auction on November 29th 2018.
Adebayo Bolaji, Studio Alidad, Kit Kemp, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and design duo Turner Pocock have each generously committed to designing a one off, unique piece of art. See their designs below.
A huge thank you to all our donators!
We were overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity in helping us beat our £30,000 target!