Clarks Kicks for Soul of Africa World Cup a Huge Success Part 3
By now I’ve created quite a stir and have a small group of children all wanting to tell me just how much of a difference Clarks are making in their lives. Patrick tells them that its time to go back into class but I stop him and ask if I could chat to just a few more of the children. Patrick agrees but gives the children a stern look. “You should be in class learning but I suppose this is a special occasion,” he says.
Lanky and tall, Sanele Ndlovu, aged 14 tells me in broken English that he lives with his mum and two brothers aged 16 and 18. Sanele’s big dark eyes are shy yet filled with determination. “There are too many kids and too few toilets so I’m very happy to have new ones. The old ones smell really bad and I don’t like to go to them,’ says Sanele, “I am excited about the new classroom and computer room as I will be able to do projects on new computers which will help me become a teacher when I grow up”. There are currently 58 children in Sanele’s classroom.
Below: Sanele Ndlovu
Londeka Mthiyane, aged 13 lives with her mum, 3 sisters and 3 brothers. Patrick tells me that Londeka has the potential to go far as she is such a diligent student. “I don’t like the old toilets as the smell and are dirty. Dirty children don’t flush them properly and there are no taps to wash your hands. I’m very happy to have new toilets,” Londeka tells me. “A new classroom will mean more space and less kids in one class so more time learning with the teacher”, says Londeka, “and I feel glad that we will have a computer room as I can have more knowledge than I have as it will help me find out more information.” Pulling her shoulders back, Londeka proudly says, “I want to be a nurse when I leave school and learning computer will help me get a job. I want to help people as lots of people are sick and with disease”. Londeka currently has 63 children in her classroom.
Below: Londeka Mthiyane
I hear Patrick bellow from behind me, “Right children! Back to class – you need to be learning!” But Ntombenhle Cibane has her feet firmly plated in the dusty ground and she’s determined that she’s not going back to class until she tells me her story. I smile at Patrick’s defeated look as this feisty little girl with the huge smile starts telling me how grateful she is to Clarks and Soul Of Africa for giving them what they need most. Aged 12, Ntombenhle lives with her mum, 1 sister and 2 brothers. Her mum is unemployed and it is left up to Ntombenhle’s brother to provide for the family. She proudly tells me that her big brother buys her school uniform for her. Again a fleeting look of sadness passes through Ntombenhle’s eyes as she tells me she doesn’t know who her dad is. This doesn’t last long and that big smile is back as I quickly change the subject by asking about the new toilet block. “I am feeling so excited about new toilets because children write graffiti on the old ones and they smell really bad and make me feel dirty.” On the new computer room Ntombenhle says, ”I am happy for a new classroom as I don’t like to be squashed in class. There is too much noise. Some kids don’t want to learn so make a lot of noise and trouble so the teacher has to deal with them. If we have a smaller class we can learn more.” Ntombenhle currently has 63 children in her classroom.
Below: Ntombenhle Cibane
Below: Handover. Patrick, Stephanie Keast (Soul Of Africa General Manager) with pupils
I watch silently as Father Madlala blesses the ground with holy water, and as we bow our heads in prayer I find my eyes fill with tears and I say thanks… thanks to Clarks for the difference they are helping us make… thanks… that I am blessed enough to be part of the Soul Of Africa project… to be given such an enormously wonderful opportunity to be able to bring change into the lives of children who have nothing not even the simple things in life…
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha
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