‘Pioneers’ give back

2018-11-13 06:01
Handing over a cheque to the school are, from left: Edwin Cloete, Gavin Benjamin, Hesham Neamatollah Effendi, Abdusamad Ahmed, Walter Benjamin and Jeff Martin.  PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

Handing over a cheque to the school are, from left: Edwin Cloete, Gavin Benjamin, Hesham Neamatollah Effendi, Abdusamad Ahmed, Walter Benjamin and Jeff Martin. PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

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The old boys of Spes Bona High School in Athlone successfully raised R20 000 for the development of the school, after kicking off their first fundraiser in September.

The group, who call themselves the Spes Bona Pioneers, were among the first learners to matriculate at the school in 1968 (“Old boys back with a bang”, People’s Post, 31 June).

The pioneers handed over a cheque to the school, in the presence of both learners and teachers, during a one-hour ceremony held last Tuesday.

“Our group wants to make a difference in the lives of the children who are currently attending this school.

“Our aim is to give back to Spes Bona, who we appreciate dearly, and to thank them for the efforts they showed us during our time here,” explains Gavin Benjamin of the Spes Bona Pioneers.

“The money that we gathered from this year’s fundraiser will go towards the school’s kitchen. This was a decision made by the school’s representatives
themselves.”

Benjamin says the group managed to raise the money through both a dance evening and through collecting money from former learners, who are currently living all around the country and the world.

“Many of the ex-learners are successful people today, and who all came on board to donate what they can. They were excited and privileged to have been part of this process.

“Next year, we plan to raise R30 000 for the school, and plan to also go bigger with our events to accommodate more people.

“It was a lovely time catching up with ex-learners at the dance event and we would love to do it again, as the atmosphere was great.”

He says the next batch of money raised will go towards the development of the current learners at the school and for their (learners’) development thereafter.

“A lot of learners want to study further after they matriculated, but sometimes don’t have the money to do so. We hope to raise enough money, next year, for bursary opportunities too, among others.”

Benjamin adds the project was not about recognising the group as the old boys of Spes Bona – it was more about the school, and about giving back to it.

“This is an ongoing project, that was started this year, and will continue every year. It will hopefully be passed on to the next generation of kids to come. The school’s legacy will
continue.”

Teachers Hesham Neamatollah Effendi and Abdusamad Ahmed where among those to thank the group on stage. They both said it is a privilege to be in the presence of some of the school’s remaining legends.

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