Friday 7th November saw one of the highlights of the calendar for the Wynberg Rotary Club and six schools in the Grassy Park – Lotus River area:- the annual Bursary evening. At this event bursaries worth R455 000 were handed out to learners in need – those from families who could not otherwise afford to maintain the child at school.
Every year learners at two schools in Norway, Oddemarka Lower Secondary and Haugaland Secondary, take a day off schooling and work even harder collecting money for schools in this area. This money is administered by the Norwegian Liason Committee (NLC) of Wynberg Rotary Club, and is used to uplift both the learners and the school infrastructure. The club puts in computer centres, buys books for libraries, provides laptops (and training) and projectors to enhance the teaching experience, and provides bursaries to learners.
Every cent raised goes to the schools :- all costs are picked up by the donors, the club, and the NLC itself. The learners who receive the bursaries are chosen by the schools themselves, based on learner circumstance and the willingness of the learner. The learners do not get the money directly, but it is held by the school and is released upon receipt of an invoice. The money has to be used for school clothes, and any books that are needed. One of the big motivations is that this ensures all learners are dressed the same – there can be no discrimination based on lack of correct dress or much needed equipment.
Most years teachers and learners come out from the Norwegian Schools during this period to visit the schools, interact with the teachers and learners and attend the bursary evening. This year we hosted two teachers and four learners from Haugaland for the week – they went back with renewed enthusiasm for the people of South Africa and their six schools in particular.
Our thanks to the donor schools for their work, and for the principals and the staff of our NLC schools for their hardwork and dedication. The schools are Fairmount High, and the five Primary Schools – de Duine, Lotus River, Montague’s Gift, Perivale and Stephen Road. And as a bonus some more good news: from next year we will be helping a seventh school in the area, Zeekoevlei High!