Christel House receives boost

2018-05-08 06:00
Christel House learners received sporting apparel as part of a donation from Cell C.

Christel House learners received sporting apparel as part of a donation from Cell C.

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Christel House in Ottery has been given a helping hand by one of South Africa’s biggest mobile networks.

Cell C heeded the call to action through their ongoing “Acts of Kindness” campaign, by sponsoring principal Ronal Fortune at the recent Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, which Fortune used as an opportunity to raise funds for a much-needed school bus.

Christel House is a global non-profit organisation which operates nine education centres around the world, with the Ottery school being the only one in Africa. The school embraces a holistic education model targeted at some of Cape Town’s poorest communities including Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Philippi and Manenberg.

Aside from transport, the school also has an urgent need for equipment for its sports department, and Acts of Kindness will see much-needed apparel being purchased for the learners.

“Our children come from the poorest of circumstances with untapped talents. The Cell C donation allows us to nurture these abilities. With the little we have, we manage to achieve a lot. The school has produced eight national fencers over the years. One of these is our 2017 graduate Kesia Mathews who will represent South Africa at the All Africa Games and then at a national competition in Newcastle. We will be able to use the Cell C donation to uncover and nurture many more of our youngsters whose talents will remain dormant unless we bring them to the fore,” says Fortune.

He explains why he has put himself to the test to raise funds: “Poverty and lack of resilience are intertwined. When situations are difficult, people often want to give up. Running an endurance race is creating a similar, although temporary, scenario of severe strain, pain and the option to ‘give up’ when all seems hopeless. I chose to persevere – our learners and their parents can learn from such a message. Therein lies the grit required to be resilient.

“I wanted my ultra-marathon experience to be a lesson for all Christel House students and their parents. I believe the plight of the poor child is not highlighted enough and this is one way to achieve this in some small way. Christel House is on a mission to break the cycle of poverty in any way possible. I believe it is all of our responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves.

Christel House in Ottery has 750 learners enrolled from Grade R to Grade 12. The main criterion for entry is a combined household income of R1500 or less. Learners are transported to the school’s campus where they receive quality education, nutritional meals, healthcare and guidance counselling. Last year, the school achieved a 98% matric pass rate while 91% of its graduates are either gainfully employed or studying, which is well above national statistics.

“We are delighted that in some small way we are able to make a difference and help Fortune and his learners,” says Cell C Western Cape managing executive, Nezaam Harris.

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