By Frederick Philander
A chance athletic sports meeting between a team of a well-to-do urban private school and a poor rural government school in 2006 has led to an exciting and developing relationship at various socio-economic and educational levels.
The St Paul’s College Primary School has just returned from its first visit to the Nicolas Witbooi Primary School some 150 km away from the capital in the Dordabis area.
“And what an experience our children had meeting with their counterparts in their own environment,” said principal Lesley Saunders.
It was her idea to transport her learners in two busses for a few hours to the rural school, which lacks almost all educational resources, to hand over more than 250 sport outfits to the rural learners.
“The handing over ceremony was the result of fundraising efforts through cake sales and collections done by our learners and the generosity of our school parents. From every school function of St Paul’s Primary School we contributed 10% of the income towards buying the sport wear for those poor children,” said Saunders.
Last week two rented buses transported the city learners on a two-hour journey to the rural settlement.
“It was my idea to take my learners to the rural school to compare their situation to that of those children.
I wanted to show them just how privileged they were compared to rural learners, who lack the most basic things in life. The whole exercise demanded a lot of prayer and optimism. We really took a leap of faith that paid off in this venture,” she said religiously.
Saunders said she was confident that the newly found relationship would continue and flourish over time. She thanked her school parents and especially Boundary Wholesalers for having contributed towards the expense of the sport wear as well as the transport.