I have so many amazing memories of the day (that I will cherish)!
- Robyn Watters (volunteer)

Event details

02 December 2019

03 December 2019

Bright Beginners CAFDA Village, Retreat

Bright Beginners, CAFDA Village, Retreat

Bishop's Kidd House

Connect with Bright Beginners and Bishops

20 students from Kidd House at Bishops Diocesan College volunteered their time on Monday 2nd & Tuesday 3rd December at our Sisanda Connect programme, working with over 50 children from Bright Beginners Day Care in Retreat. As part of their Community Service programme, the students aged 16-18 years spent 2 days working at the School to renovate an outside jungle gym area, paint a classroom and to engage with the children in a variety of activities.

Day 1 – PREP and SAND
The day started with all the kids very excited to have extra special visitors with them and the boys of the classrooms kept running out of the classroom to make buddies with the Bishops Boys. After a lovely introduction to school and area done by the Sisanda team the boys got ready to get down to business.

We set out to the jungle gym area armed with sandpaper, paint brushes and lots of enthusiasm! After we had cleared the area of various rocks, stones and litter, we started preparing the wood…with 10 young men working hard, the sanding was complete in about 2 hours.
In the other room that needed some TLC, 8 boys started sanding down the walls and chipping down old paint and prepping the room for a nice fresh coat of paint. We had 2 students that wanted to strategically pack the sweet packets for the kids of the school before joining in on the painting which they really enjoyed doing.

The boys needed quite a bit of assistance with the painting in the room and we were very lucky to have a great group leader from the Sisanda team showing them the ropes and helping them along the way! The boys really put their heads together and got the preparation for the room done and ready for paint the next morning in a few hours.

On days like this you really do notice certain characters and various personalities in the group start to shine. As always, there were a few boys who managed to get more paint on themselves rather than on the walls, some who managed to avoid a single drop of paint touching their hands and then those who were more of a project manager than a painter but all in all it was great fun and an awesome learning experience for all.

When the sanding and prep was done, the boys had some time to split up and play with the kids. Some of the boys read the books they brought along to the kids, some did some cute face painting and others got active playing outside with the older kids of the day care.


After an enjoyable, yet tiring day yesterday the boys arrived on Tuesday morning ready for the next installment of their project – PAINTING
The boys got their paint brushes and headed off to paint the room and add some final touches on the jungle gym which looked ready to withstand any weather now that it was sanding and painted with wood sealant. The boys painted the classroom with a lovely soft pastel green colour which matched the rest of the schools colours and the room looked so fresh once they were done.

Bright Beginners is a small no fees school in Retreat which creates a warm, nurturing space for the children to come and learn in a lovely safe environment. Thank you to the Healing Hearts foundation for working closely with Sisanda and allowing us to create a successful plan for the programme and for your ongoing support throughout. The Healing Heart foundation connected us to Bright Beginners and offers continued support to the school.

Connect is such a special programme that opens doors for young volunteers and connects them with younger children from disadvantaged communities who are in need of additional support. Our Connect project could not have taken place without the support from our fantastic Activity Leader, Moeheen. Thank you for taking time out of your schedules to support the Sisanda team, young volunteers and assisting the children at Retreat.

Thank you to Bishops Diocesan College for transporting the group to and from Retreat on both days, allowing them access to a new community.

Finally a huge thank you goes out to the young volunteers from Bishops Diocesan College who came along to the Connect project with huge amounts of enthusiasm and an open mind. They were faced with various challenges along the way which led some of the boys out of their comfort zones, however when seeing them working with the children, you would think they do this on a regular basis!

Sisanda’s Youth Connect programme aims to connect young volunteers from local high schools with beneficiary children from junior schools in underprivileged communities. We deliver our programme by working closely with a group of young volunteers to plan, fundraise and deliver a mini FunDay.

Pictures from the event