Day 13: On Wednesday we had arranged to make a visit to the high school’s neighbouring primary school, NDukabandla. Here we gave out the money, raised by Stonelaw High School Fairtrade cooperative, to the carers of vulnerable children to help them buy uniforms for school.
It was interesting to get an insight into another school in the area. Although the classrooms in the primary did seem better resourced than Ikusasalethu; they had cupboards with textbooks and even colourful posters on the walls, the structure of the building had deteriorated. The nursery classroom had a large hole in the roof which the teachers said, made it hard for them on the days when it rained.
We were introduced us to some of the learners we help. Most of them only knew a little English so it was harder to communicate with them, however we had managed to learn a few isiZulu phrases over the past week and so it was good to put them to use. A few of them had no shoes for school so it was clear how much they appreciated the help.
(On Thursday Thandi Buthelezi, one of the educators, told us of the pride of one of the wee primary one girls who came to school that morning in full, new school uniform and shoes.)
In the nursery class there were over 100 children and three teachers.
Although it had been a quick visit, we loved meeting some of the younger children and experiencing another aspect of school life in South Africa. After Ndukabandla, we returned back to Ikusasalethu to deliver the money there to the most vulnerable children. We felt really lucky to have the opportunity to see, first hand, where the money raised by the Fairtrade group actually goes and it really emphasised the importance of the group’s work and showed how much people rely on our profits.
One learner, who lives with his cousin and grandparents, unfortunately lost all of his possessions in a house fire. It was great to be able to provide new uniforms for the two boys from our profits.
After school, the teachers took us on a boat ride in St Lucia to see hippos and crocodiles.
Posing for a group photo!
A whole crowd of us went and we took up most of the boat. The sun was still shining and we all enjoyed looking at the views from the top deck.
There were hippos popping up everywhere in the water and we were determined to see one yawn. We caught this guy in action. We even managed to see a few crocodiles!