2016 saw the first project involving 16-17 year-old South African students working in rural township schools, painting, decorating and teaching. The project involves 24 students and two teachers working for 2 weeks, one week in the school holiday. The students have to raise the costs of all the paints and materials used during the project.
For almost all of these students it was the first time they, or their parents, had ever been in a rural township. Therefore for the first time they experienced the lack of provision and poverty experienced by so many of their fellow South Africans.
The aim of this project is to:
- Provide students in South Africa with an opportunity to do something ‘special’ and gain an understanding of the issues and challenges facing a large number of young people in rural township areas.
- Increase the students’ knowledge / understanding of the causes of HIV / AIDS and its impact.
- On return to their schools to provide a group of young people able to work within the school to support in the education to prevent the spread of HIV / AIDS – no matter how hard staff try to inform pupils in schools they will not be as effective as having other students bringing their knowledge and experience to a lesson.
- To provide a unique experience for students in an impoverished school in the Valley of a Thousand Hills – a opportunity to mix with and develop the English skills of the local young people – a lasting memory in the form of a new building or classrooms redecorated.