Holistic development through environmental awareness is key to a new initiative piloted at Highlands Drive Primary School.Community workers partnered with organisation Sport Implementation Foundation (SIF) and the school to pilot the project that they hope to take to more schools in the area.SIF is an organisation aimed at developing children through sport, mentorship, guidance and environmental activities.Community worker Fierouza Moosa says she was approached by a fieldworker for SIF to partner with them at the school.“We collaborated to do this operation cleanup in our community and schools. We targeted Highlands Drive Primary as the oldest school in Mitchell’s Plain and the face of Mitchell’s Plain,” says Moosa.Learners from the Grade 6 and 7 classes assisted in the cleanup of the school grounds and area outside the gates.“It is community upliftment as well. Our children have various problems so this is implementing a different strategy, not only what they get up to do at school,” says Moosa.They will be returning to the school to ensure the children remain involved in their environment, keeping it clean.School principal Tanya van Graan says SIF started at the school two months ago, when they needed assistance with another problem.She says that littering became a very big problem at the school, leaving the grounds dirty and unsightly.“I saw this as an opportunity to see how we could develop the children holistically. With the values of our department – one is respect for property which starts by self-respect – we know the challenge is littering. This coincides with the Life Skills curriculum and our learners must be environmentally friendly,” she says.“We want extraordinary learners coming from Highlands Drive Primary.”Van Graan continues that the project is aimed at creating pride in their school and that is the significance of involving the children.SIF fieldworkers were on site at the pilot event on Thursday to assist the children in understanding the significance of the initiative.SIF CEO, Samuel Theron, says their approach is always holistic.“We see how we can develop the child holistically. Most of the time we use sport but we also focus on anti-bullying. We know that there are problems at home so we need to address it at school. The organisation has been around for seven years and we work all over, with youth in prison and at churches,” he says.A total of 1000 refuse bags were donated to the cause by the council, with the children having filled several by the end of the programme.