The children came home with the biggest smiles I have ever seen.
- Karen from Youth Empowerment Organisation

Event details

19 May 2019

08:00 - 14:00

Herzlia High School

Blomvlei Primary School

Herzlia High School

Under the Sea with Herzlia

15 Grade 10 students from Herzlia High School in Vredehoek spent over 4 hours of planning sessions working with the Sisanda team to design and plan an ‘Under the Sea’ themed Connect day for their beneficiary group.

Connect is a young leadership programme where we work with a group of young volunteers from a high school and partner them with an underprivileged Primary School, with the aim of delivering a fun day of games and activities focusing on the learning through play methodology.

Sunday 19th May 2019 we welcomed 29 Grade 3 learners from Blomvlei Primary School in Hanover Park to Herzlia High School for their Connect activity day. As the bus came closer into town, the children were wide eyed and completely in awe as they approached Table Mountain. The children had never been so close to the mountain before, and as they arrived at Herzlia it seemed to tower over them all.

Herzlia very kindly allowed us to use their middle school hall, atrium and astro areas which with the help of our young volunteers, were set up with activities and decorations for when the children arrived. After the welcoming the children through a tunnel, we partnered up each child with their buddy for the day. Each young volunteer was assigned 2 children to support and mentor for the day and to participate in each activity with. 4 young volunteers led an active dance warm up to get everyone energised for the day before we split up into 4 teams to rotate around the activity stations.

Throughout the day each team participated in beach soccer, tails, crafts, biscuit decorating and a treasure hunt, where we focused on working with the children to develop their gross motor skills, co-ordination, fine motor skills, reading, spelling, problem solving and social skills; all within a fun learning environment.
Each activity space created a different mood and feel for the day, allowing each child the chance to shine and develop their skills.

After speaking with Principal Snyders from Blomvlei Primary School, he emphasized how important it is for his children to experience an outing within another community. The change in scenery and exposure to different smells, sounds and spaces. We found that the children wanted to run around for most of the day as they aren’t used to having open space around them that is safe and clean. This is something we wanted to embrace within the day, rather than restrict the children to specific areas.

With 29 absolutely exhausted children, 15 rather sluggish young volunteers and a few weary staff, we ended the Connect day with some delicious Panarotti’s pizza from Claremont and a beautiful goodie bag for each child. Our Herzlia students fundraised over R1000 to purchase goodie bags, a tennis ball, skipping rope and colouring book for each child.

Sisanda FunDaytion could not run such magical programmes without our incredible sponsors and donors…

Thank you to the HCI Foundation for sponsoring our transport with Golden Arrow, you enable us to access the children and bring them out of their communities to enjoy our Connect events at various locations.

Thank you to the Spur Foundations’ Fully Tummy Fund for sponsoring our lunch with panarotti’s pizza. The children had burned off all their energy and were in desperate need of some fuel to get them through the rest of the day, food is so important for the children we work with as we cannot guarantee when their next meal will be.

Thank you to Truworths for sponsoring our fun and bright Sisanda t-shirts, the children and volunteers absolutely loved them and had such excitement when they were told they could take them home to remember their special day. The children from Blomvlei even wore their t-shirts to assembly on Monday to show their class and tell them about the fun they had with Connect.

Thank you to Herzlia High School for providing us with a safe & secure space to work in and to 16 Grade 10 students for raising over R1000 to contribute towards the goodie bag treats.

Thank you to Moeheen, Thoko, Kayla & Alyssa for your ongoing support at our Connect events, we couldn’t do it without your time and energy. We always need some additional adult volunteers to support the children throughout the day and you were all brilliant!

Finally, a huge thank you to all the volunteers from Herzlia High School for giving up their time to volunteer and work with our beneficiary children. The smiles, laughter and energy thrived throughout the day and made it such a special time for everyone involved.

Pictures from the event