At the start of the summer holidays, a group of Portsmouth High School Sixth Form girls travelled to South Africa staying in a lodge set in the Drakensberg Mountains. The girls taught 8-14 year old pupils in a rural school; Schietsdrift. Before they left, the girls had raised money and collected items to donate to the school.
During their time they also visited Durban and a reptile centre, went zip wiring, hiked in the Drakensberg Mountains and tried to spot the big five.
The school recently had a thank you email from Spionkop Lodge, where the girls stayed, and this is what it said:
"Thank you so much for your support and motivation for our rural neighbouring children,’ said Lynette from Spionkop Lodge. ‘We really enjoyed having your wonderful group of girls.
"I am pleased to hear that the girls enjoyed themselves , whilst achieving personal growth and at the same time appreciating what they have and what these rural children do not have.
"To the young ladies and teachers, who have supported the children of Schietsdrift School, their purpose has been combined. I hope that they , as the future leaders of your country have the confidence to make their world a better place. The girls begun here, in South Africa, what one might think is a small thing but is huge for our rural school project."
We can achieve so much more when the drops from each of us come together in a clay pot.
"You can only create a future for yourself and your loved ones, by investing in the future of others. You can turn your dreams into reality by helping to realise that dreams can come true, in short you can only help yourself by helping others.
"Your team have made a difference in the lives of these rural children. If we make a difference in one life, it still represents 100% change for the better in that one life we touched. It is when one is fortunate enough to share the joy of that one life ,that you know without a doubt that we have to try to reach others as well. We can achieve so much more when the drops from each of us come together in a clay pot – pretty soon it brims with the ability to make a real difference – thank you for being a part of this project to uplift rural Education."
As George Bernard Shaw says, “This is the true joy – that of being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature, instead of complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
"Our appreciation knows no bounds; on behalf of the Head Teacher staff and learners, we thank you once again for your thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity.
“The world is beautiful but empty, if one only thinks of mountains and rivers and cities – But, to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and, who though distant, is close to us in spirit – this, makes the earth an inhabited garden.”
Evie Duck, 17, one of the Sixth Formers added:
‘It was a truly eye opening experience that exposed us to the harsh realities of life behind closed doors. All in all, an unforgettable trip that I would highly recommend if given the opportunity.’