It has been a month since Pim, Martijn, Lexander and Michiel; four Dutch student volunteers from Wolfert Van Borselen school in Rotterdam spent 12 days immersing themselves in the day-to-day activities and lessons at Grange Primer School at Witput. This initiative was the brainchild of Dirk Jan Recourt of Rhumveld (Pim’s dad), and was hosted at Ramah Farm, home of Roux Pecans.
The boys spent the past few months raising funds to contribute to the school. After consultation with the Grange Primer’s headmistress, it was decided that the school would greatly benefit from a new jungle gym. Once the project was identified and the cost of it known, the boys did several fundraising initiatives in The Netherlands to be able to fully donate a fantastic jungle gym to the school.
The days were spent between Grange Primer in the mornings and Ramah Farm in the afternoons and evenings. It is fair to say that the boys who arrived fresh off the plane from Rotterdam were not the same boys who returned to Rotterdam. We were able to discuss the realities faced in South Africa, get first-hand experience of some of these realities, and importantly, grapple with thinking of solutions and ways to positively contribute.
The boys should be immensely proud. Not only of their initiative at Grange Primer, but also the manner and enthusiasm they showed the entire time they were here. A certain highlight beyond constructing the Jungle Gym was the boys’ idea to merge their Koningsdag with our Freedom Day and have a day full of fun activities for the school children. This saw the boys setting up a sports day style event complete with Gold medals, which were presented to all the children at the end of the day. It cannot be underestimated how much it meant to the children and the school in its entirety to have this sort of enthusiasm and eagerness to create a fun inclusive event for all.
The boys got to travel the area to see some of the natural beauty at the local game park, Mokala National Park, as well as also have the opportunity to meet other students their age at Hopetown High School.
What started out as an idea almost a year before turned into a rewarding and meaningful experience for all that were involved. A huge thank you to Grange Primer for welcoming the boys in and for being so enthusiastic about their idea from day one. To the team at Bundukids, who supplied the amazing jungle gym and donated both the drums and their time in getting the equipment safely installed.
Finally, a huge thank you to Pim, Lexander, Martijn and Michiel for all your efforts and the meaningful contribution you made to all those at Grange Primer.