By ZAKEELAH JANSEN
The Community Engagement programme at Rhodes University has created a partnership between students living in residences and Makhanda schools. Through this, both parties have worked together to enrich the academic performance of pupils. On 12 October the students and their school partners came together to celebrate.
Drostdy Hall hosted and organised a talent show for the children at Noncedo Preschool as well as painted the hall of the play area. They paid for the materials with money raised during the year by selling brownies on campus, as well as other residence funding.
At the end of the talent show, every child was awarded with a certificate that best suited their personality.
Drostdy Hall earlier this year helped collect learning materials and taught the teachers at Noncedo Preschool how to write a business letter asking for donations. In addition, the Hall organised an Albany Museum trip and sports fun day for the kids.
Antonick Dick, a CE rep for Drostdy Hall, said, “The community is not just the people you go to class with or go to work with. This is a small town and we need to be a family. We need to help where we can.” She said it was important for the university and the community to have a good relationship.
On the same day, Nelson Mandela Hall handed over 21 pairs of school shoes to CM Vellem Primary school learners. According to Fezekile Dhlamini, one of the CE reps for Mandela Hall, the Hall started their fundraiser for shoes with capital from the University, which they used to sell hotdogs on campus. They also received donations from community shops such as Bouquet, Rat and Parrot, Rustic Route and EC Fresh. Earlier this year, Nelson Mandela Hall also achieved their first two goals by running a sanitary pad and water drive.
A deeply touching moment was when Nompumelelo Frans, a Grade 3 teacher at CM Vellem, recounted how after the Rhodes volunteers had left, one of the parents had approached the school offer help with cleaning the admin office.
“She was more than willing to do it for free,” Frans said. “Her daughter didn’t have any school shoes and she didn’t know what she was going to do. She cried tears of joy when her child received a pair of shoes.
“That, and the smiles on the children’s faces, was a great thing to see.”