Back: Lisa MaGuire, Jenelle de Jonge, Anri McLean, Steph-Marie de Lange, Liza-Ri Snyman and Jason Mellet.
Front: Jan-Carel van Niekerk, Luánn Botha and Kieran Albertus.
Nine Plasies, who are currently busy with the gold level of the President’s Award at Merensky High School, completed their residential project from 27 November to 1 December last year at Tshega Christian Missions. The group focused mainly on the Lighthouse Academy, a school in Fobeni Village in the Bolubedo South area.
The gold diggers painted an old container which will be used for the school’s sports equipment. Jason Mellet and Anri McLean, deputy head boy and girl at Merensky for 2017/18, also presented a short leadership course to the school’s new prefects for 2018. The other Plasies talked to learners about bullying, and how the transformation from primary to high school will affect them. Old tyres were put to good use when they were transformed into chairs for the playground. The group also assisted at the local feeding scheme. Some of the Plasies became a bit emotional when they realised that this is sometimes the only available meal in 24 hours. A Christmas party was also hosted for the children. While spending time at Mathole Day Care, the group performed many fun-filled physical activities with the toddlers. A great opportunity arose when the group assisted adults in the literacy class.
The nine Plasies enjoyed their time tremendously and are planning to return in 2018, as the Gold level for this programme requires 72 hours of community service for completion.
The group shared accommodation at Riverside Backpackers with volunteers from Germany. These two groups shared a common goal in supporting and uplifting the Fobeni community. After a tough day’s work they socialised and used the opportunity to gain knowledge about cultural differences.
Merensky’s President’s Award team extends a big thank you to all the parents for their donations, which contributed to the success of this project, as well as Tshega Missions co-ordinator, Kobie van Jaarsveld, Phumi Zondo (Plasie mentor) and Jackie van Tonder (house master, Riverside Backpackers).