To lots of students, this is quite normal and no surprise,- as the early arrival of Christmas to 5 primary schools and 1 secondary school has been part of the pre-Christmas calendar for 12 years. Without fail.
The big night this year was on Tuesday 27th of November, at Sid G. Rule Primary School, Grassy Park. The big hall was filled by excited students, their parents and teachers, members of the Norwegian Liaison Committee and other members of the Rotary Club of Wynberg. A special guest was Mr Glen van Harte, the Director of the Metropole South Education who gave the keynote address.
There was be no Father Christmas, but the spirit of Christmas was the same, and the certificates given to the students, was received with just as much excitement and joy as any Christmas gift. Between 600 and 700 students from 6 schools again shared the amazing amount of R370.000 – which was divided into bursaries for the upcoming school year.
The money can only be used for school material, uniforms and other equipment, all necessary expenses throughout the school year. The recipients of the bursaries are selected by the principals and teachers, and all funds are administrated by the school authorities. The selection is not necessary focusing on very clever students, but also taking into account those who need some extra financial help to get through the school year.
The amazing amount of money is being raised by young students in Norway, mainly on one specific Solidarity Day, when schools all over Norway close and the students take any work they can get. This day has a long tradition in Norway, and the public are very willing to create jobs for the youngsters for good causes. Every year there are many worthwhile charities which apply for the fundraised amounts, and it is therefore unique that the Norwegian students have managed to keep up the enthusiasm for this project over so many years. There is no doubt that this is mainly because of the fact that some students from the different Norwegian donor schools and a few teachers pay visits to Cape Town on a regular basis, to keep in touch with the schools in Grassy Park, as well as with the members of The Norwegian Liaison Committee of the Rotary Club of Wynberg. The visitors are guests of the Rotary Club of Wynberg when they stay in Cape Town, and they always make it a point not to use any fundraised money for their travels.
The many remarks from grateful students as well as their families on the Bursary Award Evening, show that not only will the money be of great assistance, but the feeling that some students in a country far away, care about them, and want them to succeed, is priceless.
So, Christmas did indeed come early to 6 schools in Grassy Park.
Schools for 2012:
- Stephen Road Primary
- Montagu’s Gift Primary
- Die Duine Primary
- Lotus River Primary
- Perivale Primary
- Fairmount Secondary