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 in 2003 we were able to raise enough funds through internal activities at St Faith’s to build a school hall. Since then we have held many fund raising activities including an annual day at St Faith’s dedicated to learning more about life in a township in South Africa. This has generated funds to provide a hot food program which has been so successful that the Eastern Cape Department of Education has rolled out similar programs across the township schools in the region. We have also funded the paving of outside areas to reduce muddiness and installed a tarmac area for hard court sports. Recent funds from St Faith’s have been used to refurbish and better equip classrooms and to provide weekday hot food for all pupils and weekend food for the considerable number of orphans at the school.
In July 2019 35 pupils, six staff and many parents enjoyed a 12 day tour of South Africa. As well as visiting six schools to play sport and music, travelling the length of the ‘Garden Route’, enjoying a safari, visiting Nelson Mandela’s former cell on Robben Island and spotting penguins in their natural habitat, the highlight of the tour was a two-day visit to Makukhanye. This was the school’s fifth visit since our relationship began in 2003.
In 2019, we witnessed at Makukhanye, for the first time, significant improvements, in part thanks to the donations we have made over the past 17 years. The school had a full complement of teachers, classrooms were in good repair, every child had a chair to sit on, pupils looked smarter (and healthier) and there was a distinct upbeat feel across the whole Makukhanye community. We were able to take more provisions with us than ever before (old St Faith’s tracksuits, polo tops, white shirts) and, whilst we were there, we bought 200 pairs of school shoes from a South African supplier. The Head, Nono, was overwhelmed, and she and her pupils gave us a welcome that we will forever cherish in our memories. More recently Nono sent photos of the Makukhanye pupils proudly wearing the St Faith’s tracksuits for one of their recent sports fixtures against a local school.
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 who understand their privileged place in the world and responsibility to help others. We want our pupils to receive not only an excellent all-round education 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. As you may read below the impact of such an experience is profound.
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.