We live in an “instant” society today – a society that has to have everything quicker and faster than ever before. In this world of “instants”; instant gratification, instant coffee, instant everything, it is easy to get caught up in a rat race and forget to enjoy the simple things in life. This is heart wrenching as we are sometimes reluctant to give freely with our hearts, because there is no instant gratification in giving. Sometimes we are awarded with a dirty, brightly shining, smiling toddler who is glad that someone visited the Princess Alice Adoption Home and gave him or her a few extra cuddles, or the heartfelt gratitude of a beggar on the street who has scored some of the loose change in our cars.
At SAHETI, the Outreach Committee is committed to breaking down these strongholds and making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. The myriad of activities began by showing empathy to the residents of Cape Town. We collected a substantial amount of water that was sent via the Gift of the Givers organisation to help alleviate the plight of the residents afflicted by the harsh drought.[Photo 1 on left of page, writing alongside]
The high school students were tasked with the leadership opportunity to plan an Outreach event to the Nomikeios Greek Old Age Home from start to finish. In true SAHETI style, they embraced the opportunity with enthusiasm and vigour. The senior outreach teams took the reins and prepared with full autonomy, a morning of activities that was truly impressive. An otherwise ordinary Saturday morning was brought to life with a programme filled with gymnastics performances and Greek dancing. In addition, there was a generous supply of sponsored food. One of the learners prepared pamper packs for each resident the night before. The success of the day can be attributed to the excellent organisation skills of the Outreach captain who guided the students along the way. The opportunity to lead in such an admirable way will stand in good stead for the outreach team to follow in the future.[Photo 2 on right of page, writing alongside]
The high school hosted an Easter egg hunt at the Abraham Kriel Home for about 100 children from all over Soweto. SAHETI has worked in partnership with Sisonke Nathi (Zulu – We all in this together) for a few years. The aim of the organisation is to empower the youth in disadvantaged communities or abusive homes so they may be upskilled to take a responsible role in society. In keeping with this theme, the primary school also collected Easter eggs, hats and scarves as part of their Mini-City Council initiative. The playschool continued their partnership with a school called Bothlale Ke Thuto in Alexandra. They collected Easter eggs for the children and ran a book drive so they could help restock their library. In addition, SAHETI hosted a fun day for the Soweto children on Youth Day. The photos alongside show the elated faces of the children after a day of unending treats, face-painting, nail painting, jumping castles, party-packs and a dance off.[Photo 3 on left of page, writing alongside]
The entire school has also been involved in a clothing drive after teaming up with the “Clothes to Cash Exchange” (C2CX) for the “Clothes to Good” programme. Part of the funds from this drive go to Life Link 24/7 Cares, as well as SAHETI’s own upliftment project “Rise Against Hunger” (RAH). It is said that the first one thousand days in a child’s life holds the key to unlocking his/her life-long potential as 90% of a child’s brain is developed in the formative years. During this time, factors such as adequate healthcare, good nutrition, quality childcare and nurturing, a clean and safe environment, early learning and stimulation will, to a large extent, influence his/her future as an adult. C2CX aims at empowering mothers through community upliftment projects and micro-businesses by reselling the donated clothes to them. It also aims at empowering the disabled community by employing them at the various centres. They also partner with RAH to help schools host food packaging events to sustain Early Childhood Development Centres for about 6 months at a time. Early Childhood Development toys are also made by the learners at these events using 95% recycled items. In support of October’s World Hunger Month, SAHETI was honoured to host this community-based event after collecting close to three tons of clothing over two terms. In addition, the primary school held an “Oxi (No) to Hunger Day” where food items were packaged to be delivered to disadvantaged schools and crèches. As our President Cyril Ramaphosa, stated: “If we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor.” Here, the high school learners are seen proudly packaging their food parcels and making toys for the ECD centres.[Photo 4 on right of page, writing alongside]
The year culminated with the gift of giving. The playschool and pre-primary showed their appreciation to the auxiliary staff of SAHETI. Appreciation packs filled to the brim with food items were meticulously assembled with an outpouring of SAHETI love and generosity. The high school learners also supported one of our regular initiatives, the Santa Shoebox project, by donating over 150 shoeboxes meticulously packed by the learners.
This productive Outreach year would not have been possible without my dedicated team who have an unwavering desire to make a difference in the world one step at a time. A special thank you to Georgia Killas, Carina Antunes, Chantal Birkett-Sharp, Elize-Hele Kieser, Maria Callipolitis and to the parents and students of SAHETI for your unrelenting generosity – whether it is the collection of bottle caps, water, food items or jumble for the Little Eden fete or sweets for the Felicitas Home for special needs children. May you be abundantly blessed with all the desires of your hearts over the festive season!
18 July 2018 is a momentous occasion as it marks 100 years since a man of great stature and magnitude was born. South Africans across the country commemorated the centenary celebrations in various ways and SAHETI was by far no exception.
In keeping with the theme #Against Poverty, various initiatives were undertaken by pupils of all ages across the school: The entire school chose to team up with the “Clothes to Cash Exchange” (C2CX) to create the “Clothes To Good” programme. C2CX will pay the school for the clothes (R5/kg), a further R2/kg goes to Life Link 24/7 Cares, an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) that C2CX proudly supports. SAHETI will use the money for their own upliftment projects in the third term, in support of a project called “Rise Against Hunger”.