German- South African partnership to bear fruit

The Umckaloabo Foundation based in Germany and Samara Foundation from SA, which are working to create interaction and student exchanges between the two countries, will visit Ekuphumleni High School in Whittlesea.

The members of the two non-government organisations are expected to spend Sunday and Monday at the school.

The visit follows after Ekuphumleni was chosen to be the recipient of all the funds raised through Umckaloabo Foundation’s annual fundraising initiative, called Africa Run, this year.

The group of seven Germans will meet the pupils and teachers to see what the next steps of the Africa Run investment will be.

Africa Run is an annual fundraiser that raises funds for a different school in Southern Africa.

The money can be used to improve the infrastructure and facilities of the school and to support pupils and teacher development.

Umckaloabo Foundation public relations officer Heidi Höer-Fritzen said: “Individual runners have signed up in Germany, SA and America to raise funds for every kilometre that they run. These funds are matched by a German company, Schwabe, and then invested at a school which is Ekuphumleni this year, to improve infrastructure and support the development of students and teachers.”

The Umckaloabo Foundation works in Southern Africa to support projects that enable children and youth to build a better future for themselves.

Samara Foundation is one of the local implementing partners for the Umckaloabo Foundation and works in the Eastern Cape, which supports early childhood development centres with infrastructure, resources and training.

The organisation has also partnered with the Africa Run project for 2019 with the Umckaloabo Foundation.

Ekuphumleni school principal Lizwe Ngalo had been invited to do a presentation on his school in Germany earlier this year.

Ngalo said the exchange was valuable. “There is a lot we can learn from our German counterparts in terms of best practices and the experience we will gain will help us move forward,” he said.

Ngalo also hopes to share the humanity and community spirit of SA with the Germans.

“We believe in Ubuntu that a person is a person through their relationships with other people. We like to meet with other people; we believe there is something in common and that there is something we can learn from them.”

In the spirit of Arbour month and to symbolise the long-lasting impact, 50 fruit trees will be planted at the school on Monday.

Samara Foundation’s Louisa Feiter said: “The trees are symbolic and functional. Our investment at this school hopefully will make a difference for many generations of pupils and when the trees bear fruit, these can be practically used to supplement the nutrition programme the school runs.”

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