Pupils' award: Cornwall Hill College matrics donate 4 truck loads to home for vulnerable children

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Pupils of Cornwall Hill College in Centurion show some of the goods they collected during lockdown to donate to Ditshego House of Laughter.
Pupils of Cornwall Hill College in Centurion show some of the goods they collected during lockdown to donate to Ditshego House of Laughter.

When a teacher at Cornwall Hill College in Irene, Pretoria, challenged the matric class to do something for those in need during the lockdown, they sprang into action.

They identified the Ditshego House of Laughter, with which they were involved as part several previous outreach programmes. Ditshego House is a non-profit organisation in Centurion that takes care of children and babies when their parents aren't able to.

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Head boy Matthew Andrews and head girl Patricia Chaminuka organised a food and clothing drive and after getting off to a steady start, ramped up their efforts considerably when the school's staff decided to take part in the efforts and challenged the students.

A number of matrics were identified to provide drop-off points and the pupils made a Google map, which included a pinned location for every drop-off point. This was sent to all matric pupils so that everyone knew where their closest drop-off point was.

Andrews and Chaminuka also set up a spreadsheet to track all donations, complete with goals to be reached for each item. Every morning they set up a graph to illustrate how far they were from reaching their goals.

The class was able to collect 1 375 kg of food, clothes, shoes and other necessities.

Cornwall Hill High

"Ditshego House sent a truck and trailer to collect the goods and our school sent another two bakkie loads. So it ended up being four trucks loads of goods," said Jenny Koster, the leader who represented the Grade 12 pupils.

"We asked Ditshego what their specific needs were and bought things like nappies and face cloths with the cash donations we received. It really was the nicest charity drive I've ever watched children do."

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