The focus for our Grade 11’s is on voluntary mission trips. Last year 16 of our grade 11’s participated in a mission trip to Paidane, close to Inhambane. The genuine impact in their lives has been humbling to see. The teams sets up camp at Coconut Bay Camp Site. We worked at a Primary School in Paidane. A lot of hard labour was involved in making bricks for a new classroom to be built, laying foundations and floors for the new classroom and paiting existing structures. We were engaged in various aspects of teacher training using lego and a gross motor programme to offer support in early child development. This year our team will be considering the needs of the same community following the Cyclone Dineo that hit this area.
In 2017 we served in the April holidays, 15 Grade 11 students and 6 adults embarked on a mission trip down to the South Coast, near Port Edward. We worked in the area of Izigolweni which is situated in the hills of rural areas of Natal. We made camp at Teen Ranch which is a macadamia farm and youth camp. We started our work at Madabalaza crèche, this ECD centre is one of the schools that is involved in the Siyakwazi project. Siyakwazi is an NGO that assists children in the community with special needs and support the teachers and families in giving these children a chance to learn. We completed many different projects over the week. We painted an educational mural inside the classroom that will help the children to learn the alphabet and numbers too. We repainted the outside of the building too, making it colourful. We spent a lot of time building a tyre track for the children and bought them 5 new bikes that they could use on the bike track. We built a sand pit and covered it with a shade cloth and filled it with new sand. We also fixed and painted the jungle gym structure, along with maintenance work on the roof and around the building. All of the paint and materials were donated by Jack’s Paint Bryanston. We would like to thank them for this awesome contribution to making this all possible. In this week we also spent a lot of time with the children and teachers, using Duplo Lego to teach perceptual skills. We also used the gross motor equipment to help the children with their gross motor development which they thoroughly enjoyed.
On the 7th of April, we departed from Johannesburg. We took two days to get to our destination, crossed three borders (Botswana, Namibia and into Zambia via the Katima Mulilo border post) and returned 16 April 2017. We arrived at Muthemwa Lodge where we set up camp in the dark for the week. On Monday we got to work, aiming to build a little house for the teacher in the village. This house was made of a wooded structure and packed with mud made from sand from ant hills found in the surrounding bush. Many loads of sand were loaded onto the back of the bakkie and brought to the structure, where the community gathered together to mix and pack the mud to make the walls. This is a strenuous and long process and was made quicker by the access to our vehicle and the many hands that helped. Another aspect of the week was spending time with the teacher and some of the ladies in the community who would be able to help the children in learning. We used Duplo Lego to teach many different perceptual skills, needed for reading and writing later on. The children loved this time to play and learn at the same time. We also used different equipment that would help develop the children’s gross motor skills like balls, bats, ropes and hula hoops. We were able to leave these resources with the teacher to continue the learning that had already taken place. We are so grateful to Lego who donated these charity boxes for us to use on this trip. It was greatly beneficial for our students to work alongside the community and learn so much from them. For many of them this was a life changing experience which brought them closer to God.
Ntsika - Eastern Cape
The Grade 11's have the opportunity to go on a local mission trip to Ntsika in the Easter Cape. This trip includes outreach activities in schools that are in need of better facilities. The students spend their time fixing classrooms, blackboards, tables and bathrooms. They also socialize with the students of the school and help them with school projects and homework.