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

Event details

26 November 2017

27 November 2017

Capricorn Primary School

Capricorn Primary School

Bishops Diocesan College

Paint & Play

18 students from Kidd House at Bishops Diocesan College volunteered their time on Monday 27th & Tuesday 28th November at our Sisanda Connect programme, working with over 150 children from Capricorn Primary School. 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 and to engage with the children in Grades R-3 in a variety of activities.

Day 1 – PAINT
With an absolutely beautiful day ahead of us we started our Monday morning with an extremely warm welcome to Capricorn Primary School by Deputy Headteacher, Shauna Pamplin who explained to the group of 18 young volunteers the history of the School and various volunteering programmes that have taken place there.

Once the boys were briefed on the day’s activities, 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 18 young men working hard, the sanding was complete in around 45 minutes.

Although the boys had very methodically sanded the area, this systematic approach certainly did not take place with the painting! We found it quite amusing watching a few of the group painting the steps on the jungle gym first, and managing to leave the roof until the end. Problem solving was part of the job and the group came up with some solutions: one being a step ladder, the other being the tallest boy in the group carrying another boy on his shoulders to reach the high points! Creativity did not let them down!

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 jungle gym, 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, also providing us with interesting chat and various science related trivia throughout the morning.

With some serious heat beating down on us throughout the day, we managed to get the job done – the boys worked really hard and did a fantastic job that was being admired by some of the students as we left. Before the play area is opened up to the children to use during their break times, there is an old trampoline that needs to be removed and disposed of – if anyone is able to assist us with this then please do let us know.

Day 2 - PLAY

After an enjoyable, yet tiring day yesterday the boys arrived on Tuesday morning ready for the next installment of their project – connecting with the children.
With over 700 learners at the School, we decided to focus on working with some of the younger grades to share skills and create relationships with positive role models. Giving the children some 1:1 time with a ‘big brother’ is a really special gift to give, that we felt the young volunteers from Bishops delivered beautifully. It’s extremely exciting for the children to have visitors coming into the School to spend time with them and offer them a variation from their timetable at the end of term.

We had a rather strict schedule for the day working across 8 classrooms with 3 different activities. With support from the class teachers, we started our day by partnering up the boys with children in grade R for some 1:1 reading. Such a simple activity, but absolutely loved by the children who were totally absorbed by the various stories we brought in with us and the wonderful characters that the volunteers brought to life. We moved along to the Grade 1 classes and spent time creating Christmas cards with them. With a little bit of guidance, the boys were confident to get creative with the little ones and assist them with their card making and messages to much loved family members. We finished our day with a bang – football with the Grade 3’s!! Slightly more chaotic than planned, but the children laughed their way through the game with some lovely teamwork shown by all. A highlight for me was seeing a keen footballer from Bishops being tackled by a 9 year old boy – the shock on his face was an absolute picture!

Capricorn is an extremely loved School in the heart of the community, creating a warm, nurturing space for the children to come and learn. The School works extremely hard to obtain funding to continue their work and provide the children with everything they need to enhance their education, however extra curricular activities are always needed along with general maintenance assistance. Thank you to Siddieka & Shauna for working closely with Sisanda to allow us to create a successful plan for the programme and for your ongoing support throughout.

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 Leaders, Bonga & Lisa-Marie. Thank you both for taking time out of your schedules to support the Sisanda team, young volunteers and assisting the children at Capricorn.

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

Thank you to Tanja who volunteered with us for both programme days to again support the group and the Sisanda team – Tanja also very generously donated some craft supplies, thank you!

Thank you to Reagan Naicker from Concrete Décor for giving up his time to assist the Sisanda team with the project planning. With his expertise, we were able to source the right materials and execute the correct methods to renovate the Jungle Gym.

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