Vrygrond – One step at a time

| April 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

By Lethu Ntshinga

On 6 November 2010, a group of 17 grade 9 Herschel girls undertook an expedition to a small crèche in Vrygrond (near Lavender Hill), named Where Rainbows Meet.

Our aim was to make the crèche a cleaner, brighter and livelier place in which to play and learn. This day was the culmination of a long process. The idea of ‘adding value’ was presented to us during Enrichment Week, where one of the crèches we visited was Where Rainbows Meet. This was an eye-opening experience for most of the Grade 9s. We learned that many of the children came from backgrounds where different types of abuse occurred. Some of the children didn’t even get picked up at the end of the day and would get left at the crèche.

Our visit got us thinking
The crèche itself was a one-roomed structure with grey walls. The children were all sitting on the floor – which had been created by joining boards together – drawing with crayons on fax paper. The children were our inspiration and we decided to return to ‘add value’ to their lives. We realised that we had the responsibility and the means to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We formed a group of about 20 people and decided what we wanted to do, how much money we needed to do it and  how we were going to raise the money. Our teacher, Mrs Tomazos, kept us focused at all times on reasonable goals. We held ice cream sales for two weeks and ran a tuck shop during the Staff Production, and made about R2 000. We used this money to buy the flooring, paint, toys, mattresses, puzzles, stationery and educational games. Tables and chairs were sponsored by a Grade 9 girl’s father.

Planning led to action
In November we went back to the crèche, painted the entire inside and put the floor in place. We set up the shelves and put up all our educational posters. All that was left to do was to bring in all the items we had bought such as tables, chairs, mattresses,
labelled boxes containing books, games, toys, puzzles and arts and crafts materials. With hard work interspersed with great fun, we were able to finish our redecoration of the crèche, creating something even we didn’t expect. Another great thing about what we did is that it is sustainable. Everything was done in such a practical way that it will be very easy for those in charge to keep it organised and functional. With the completion of our project at Vrygrond, we have decided that this is only the beginning. There is so much that still needs to be done for those children, and we are now committed to doing it one small project at a time. We are planning to make this a club/society at Herschel for 2011, where we will do activities such as creating learning booklets, and once a month we will share life lessons around topics like hygiene and road safety. Maybe because of our efforts those children will have a better life, and that possibility makes it all worthwhile.

Lethu Ntshinga is in Grade 9 at Herschel Girls’ School.

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Category: Autumn 2011

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