As part of our 30th birthday celebrations, we have joined forces with small family run charity SOS Africa, who work to empower South African township children through education.
It is our ambition to raise £30,000, to build an Education Centre which will 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 hope our Education Centre will help to develop and motivate children. Offering a holistic education programme that will allow them to flourish.
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.
Initial concept plans for the 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 winners.