Last October brought around the 4th annual visit from Wellington College’s Social Apprentices. Each year for the past four years has seen Wellington send a group of young socially conscious pupils to work within the United Through Sport programmes, with a focus on creating a legacy from each trip through providing useful facilities and lasting relationships with their South African peers.
Past trips have seen the group build a kitchen, a gym facility and a computer room for the UTS School of Excellence Programme. This group’s focus was creating a vegetable garden that would supply the UTS kitchen with enough vegetables on an on-going basis to feed the 90 Junior School of Excellence (JSE) Programme participants on a daily basis, thus providing further sustainability to the programme.
The 40 Wellington pupils and four teachers along with their 40 JSE buddies worked tirelessly for four days to turn an unused patch of land into a huge vegetable garden capable of producing 10 kg of vegetables per week, including Carrots, Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Beans and lettuce. The garden was also fitted with four 5000 litre water tanks and irrigation network to use the water collected from the school roof to keep the plants watered.
Apart from the success of the vegetable garden, the Wellington group also formed lasting relationships with their ‘buddies’. This programme saw them spending the week interacting with kids from the JSE programme who have been put forward for Senior School of Excellence (SSE) scholarships for next year, with the aim of improving their communication skills and broadening their horizons. The week’s activities saw them spending time coaching sports at Emzomcane Primary School, visiting Langbos crèche near Addo, visiting Kayalethu Boys Haven and bowling with their buddies, before ending the week with an overnight trip to the Shamwari Conservation Experience.
The 2013 Wellington group were so successful with their fundraising that they far surpassed the total needed for the Vegetable garden and were able to sponsor a further 5 children in the SSE programme for this year. This is added to the two currently being sponsored all the way through high school by Stanley House from the College.
“This year’s group from Wellington added such a valuable contribution through the garden, through the buddy relationships and through the funds raised for scholarships! Their annual trip has become an integral part of our programmes!” – Nosipho ‘Spakes’ Xapile – Program Manager, Junior School of Excellence Programme.
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