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, near Hopetown. This school has been supported for some time already by Roux Pecans and Rhumveld Winter & Konijn. Together they have set up an independent foundation called “Big Skies Foundation”, which supports and motivates children to follow better education.
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.
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.
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. They were extremely happy to be able to positively contribute and spend time with these children. Pim: “Unfortunately, there is still a big difference in quality and facilities between the various primary schools in South Africa, where the government does not always play a constructive role. By supporting the Grange Primer School we hope to make that little bit of difference, which makes the stay at school more pleasant and enjoyable.”
The Dutch students commented on their return: “We want to thank all donors for their donations, they have ensured that the Grange Primer has a better playground which has led to children having more fun coming to school. The rest of the raised money went to the foundation to contribute to better training. We have had the most special time of our lives. A time in which we have learned a great deal about how our lives should not be taken for granted, as is often the case. With great pleasure we did a small effort in supporting the Grange Primer School and we have seen and learned things that we will never forget’.
A big thanks to Martijn Henken, Pim Recourt, Lexander Kouwenhoven and Michiel Schmedding!
For more info visit: https://bigskiesfoundation.org