St Martins staff and pupils visit Poland

2016-06-09 06:00
PHOTO: precious gumede St Martins De Porres School pupils and teachers before their trip to Poland for the International Smiling Child Festival (back, from left) deputy principal Churchill Hlongwa, Reekha Pillay (teacher), Dean Pillay, Themba Mhlanti, Sphelele Gumede (teachers), Sudeshen Moodley (deputy principal), and (front, from left) Kwanele Zondo, Andile Mhlangu, Lelethu Yalo and Luyanda Shezi.

PHOTO: precious gumede St Martins De Porres School pupils and teachers before their trip to Poland for the International Smiling Child Festival (back, from left) deputy principal Churchill Hlongwa, Reekha Pillay (teacher), Dean Pillay, Themba Mhlanti, Sphelele Gumede (teachers), Sudeshen Moodley (deputy principal), and (front, from left) Kwanele Zondo, Andile Mhlangu, Lelethu Yalo and Luyanda Shezi.

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AFTER months of planning and hosting fund-raisers for a trip to Poland, St Martins­ De Porres School pupils and staff members had a busy Thursday 2 June morning packing suitcases and getting ready for their new adventure.

Finally, on Thursday afternoon the five pupils­ and four staff members left for King Shaka Airport to board their flight, which arrived­ in Poland on Friday 3 June.

The pupils took part in the International Smiling Child Festival in Poland and will be there for two weeks.

The festival is held with the purpose of gathering disabled and not disabled children together, and giving them the opportunity to showcase their artistic and cultural activities.

Teacher Sphelele Gumede said they were very excited, although a bit nervous about the long time on the plane.

“We were very excited, but at the same time very nervous. We waited a long time for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Gumede.

She said the festival builds pupils’ morale as they are to perform with more than 30 countries in singing and drama.

Pupil Kwanele Zondo said he was very happy.

“I am so happy. Before this I had never been on a plane and I am not even homesick. I just want to have fun.”

Slindile Mhlangu, mother of pupil Andile Mhlangu, said she was excited that her child had gone overseas, but as a parent she was at first, a bit sceptical because of the long hours in the air.

“I was so excited that my boy went to Poland. As a parent it is normal to have that little worry, but as long as the teachers are with them they are safe and will return safely.”

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