“Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people.”

~ Nelson Mandela

Of all the many projects that the Rotary Club of Claremont invests in, the majority of them are projects that improve children’s future life outcomes. Primary and secondary school education provides the springboard for success and can shape dreams. The Club is thrilled to have the privilege of making possible numerous projects that support school children: it has provided over R 1.2 million in outreach grants to smaller Rotary clubs in Rotary District 9350 (Northern and Western Cape, Namibia and Angola) over the past five years. Some of these are included below.

Educational equipment for autistic children in Mossel Bay

Autistic children who attend the Education Training Hub for Autism Needs (ETHAN) and the Zettie Jonker Hulpsentrum in Mosselbay are benefitting from new specialised sensory equipment and educational aids after a donation by the Rotary Club of Mossel Bay. The occupational therapy interventions help improve the children’s balance, coordination, catching, kicking and jumping. The two non-profit organisations, that work together to help Autistic children and their caregivers, were also able to purchase tracks, hula hoops, a see-saw, sports equipment, puzzles, wall charts, puppets, stencils, stamps and towers for educational development. Furthermore, the office was furnished with a much-needed computer, printer, and laminator for administrative use.

Durbanville Farm school pupils rewarded for academic excellence

Top student achievers from nine farm schools in and around Durbanville were rewarded for excellent academic work at prize giving ceremonies arranged by the Rotary Club of Durbanville, with funds from the Rotary Club of Claremont. The students who won prizes for being the Top Academic Achiever, or for achieving the top marks in English, Afrikaans and Maths, won backpacks, dictionaries and novels. The schools at which the prize giving ceremonies took place are mainly attended by children from low income communities.

The Rotary Club of Durbanville hosts the awards ceremonies to inspire young students to reach for the stars. Learners who wish to win the prizes are motivated to work hard and compete for top results. This encourages overall academic performance and creates healthy competition and a sense of pride amongst learners at the nine schools.

New computers for Durbanville reading centre

Children at the Morningstar Reading Centre in Durbanville are enjoying new computers at the Centre, a privilege that few of them would have access to at home. The Reading Centre provides afterschool support for up to 30 pre-primary and primary school children from the Morningstar suburb. Most of them come of their own accord: the only admission criterion is an eagerness to learn. The volunteer teachers, mainly social workers and mothers from the greater Durbanville area, supplement the children’s academics with reading, comprehension and art. The computers were installed by the Rotary Club of Tygerberg, complete with Edubuntu educational software to provide maths, language and computer literacy support.

A garden oasis in Jim Se Bos informal settlement

The Children’s Library in Jim Se Bos informal settlement near Philippi was established by Seung Young Jung as a beacon of hope in the midst of an impoverished community. After school children flock to the library to read, receive help with homework and play in the yard. The Rotary Club of Kromboom helped Jung to beautify the library by creating a recreational and educational garden with funds from the Rotary Club of Claremont. Beautiful plants add a splash of green to an otherwise dull area and a tranquil pond was installed, making the practical learning and play area an oasis for the children. The children are more eager than ever to attend the library, unknowingly nurturing their interest in reading.

New shade port for Belgravia primary school

Learners at Belthorn Primary School in Belgravia, Cape Town had nowhere to gather for assembly except outside in the open quad, exposed to the harsh summer sun with no protection from the wind or rain. The school principal approached the Rotary Club of Groote Schuur for help. The Club installed a blue shade canopy across the school’s quad, which now provides the learners with a suitable meeting place to gather as a school.

“Whether the projects are big or small, we are delighted with every life touched. These projects all meet practical needs in the community and bring much joy too,” says PP Peter Trebble, chairperson of the Rotary Club of Claremont’s Outreach Programme organising committee. “We are privileged to play a role in helping so many other Rotary Clubs complete the worthwhile projects they are working on,” he concludes.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit https://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofClaremont/.