The runners-up in the Daily News Rotary Team Talk competition have taken their prize, plus donations raised from private companies, and presented it to a needy Greytown school.
Port Natal School Grade 11 pupils Noelene van Coller, Roselle van Zyl and Maure Marx paid a visit to Vikindlala Primary School last week, where they handed over their book prize, as well as groceries and stationery – worth about R5 000.
“The little ones were delighted and they sang beautifully, I felt like crying,” said Roselle.
The Port Natal team, who received R1 000 in books from the Daily News after they finished second in the competition, contacted Westville-based security company, Civil Asset Protection, and the Greytown Boxer store and asked them to contribute.
The companies each donated R2 000 worth of goods.
After the girls won the prize in March, they went to see Julia Mkhwanazi, an office assistant in the photostat room at Port Natal, and asked her to help identify a deserving beneficiary.
“When the three teens approached me for an advice, I could not think of any school except Vikindlala, because of its plight,” said Mkhwanazi.
Accompanying the girls, all aged 17, to Greytown was Port Natal English HOD teacher, Anne de la Rey-Swart.
Thembinkosi Almon Buthelezi, principal of Vikindlala – which means “stop hunger” – graciously thanked the girls for their efforts.
He told them the school planned to convene a special meeting with parents and the school body to honour Port Natal for the donation.
“I am caught up in a rapture. This visit will keep teachers and pupils motivated, inspired and knowing that they are not being discriminated because of their rural location,” said Buthelezi.
The trio said they hoped to return at the end of the year with more donations.
“We want to create a long-term contact by asking more donors to join us in this project of helping the school,” said Noelene.
“The school has no piped water, which puts children’s health at risk; we would like to get donors for that,” said Maure.
The girls also extended their gratitude and thanked the Daily News for its donation.