Our long-standing partnership with Makukhanye School, South Africa brings tremendous rewards to children of both schools.
Since 2003 St Faith’s has supported Makukhanye Township School in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. This mutually beneficial relationship grew from simple beginnings from the planning of a rugby tour to the region. As part of our first visit to the school 14 years ago we were able to raise enough funds through internal activities at St Faith’s to build a school hall. Since then numerous annual fund raising activities including an annual day at St Faith’s dedicated to learning more about life in a township in South Africa and followed by an afternoon of activities ranging from sponsored walks to pie tossing competitions and ‘pin the tail on the teacher’, have generated funds to provide a hot food program (so impactful that the Department of Education have rolled out similar programs across the region), pave outside areas to reduce muddiness and install a tarmac area for hard court sports.
More recently the focus of our school visits to South Africa (every two years) have evolved and now the experience is open to anyone in Years 7 and 8 who wishes to participate in a sporting, musical and cultural tour of the region. Up to 40 pupils participate in the trip which includes sporting and musical exchanges with a number of schools, a trip to Robben Island, a Safari and other sight-seeing activities. The highlight of the tour is of course the visit over a number of days to Makukhanye school which includes plenty of opportunity for our pupils to interact with the local children.
Our ongoing support will allow for the expansion of the hot food program to include weekend provision. Presently an overwhelming number of children in the school receive no proper food between the end of school on a Friday and returning to school on a Monday. Our commitment of 4500 Rands per month for the next two years to provide a weekend meal will be life-changing for a number of children in the school. In addition, our funds are allowing Makukhanye to purchase small chairs for junior pupils, the re-decorating of the classrooms, and a pot of money for transport to enable children to travel to the relevant authorities to obtain essential identity documents (the Department of Education provides funding to the school based on the numbers who have identity documents – presently less than half of Maukuhanye pupils are in possession of such paperwork).
Clearly the impact of our partnership on Makukhanye school is significant and much welcomed. The benefits to St Faith’s are also numerous and speak volumes to our school culture and our aim of growing our pupils into global citizens. We want our pupils to receive not only an all-round education with excellence in academia, the arts and sports, but to also develop an awareness of the world beyond Cambridge, and to develop early in life a mind-set of charity and philanthropy. Participation in a trip of such geographical reach and ambition is a tremendous character and confidence builder for children of just 12-13 years and stands them in very good stead for their progression to senior school.
We are very proud of our unique partnership with Makukhanye, of the significant benefits that our relationship gives them, and of the impact that it has on our own pupils.