TWO young students from the United Kingdom, who earlier this week completed a mini gap year in Jeffreys Bay, are very sad to be going home and say they are leaving with very fond memories and hope to one day return.Sarah Daymon and Clare Webster, who hail from the Abbots Bromley School for girls in Staffordshire had to pull out all stops to be the first students to take part in the pilot project of the South African Schools Project (SASP), a charity organisation.
Not only did they have to fund their own trip, they also had to have some money left over to contribute towards the SASP.
They also had to qualify by submitting their CVs.
The competition was apparently so strong that SASP has decided to bring two more students out next year.
Although the girls claim they where apprehensive as to what to expect on their first visit to the country, the way they were accepted and embraced by all soon saw their misgivings vanish.
In the Kouga area, the SASP is heavily involved with many of the primary schools and for this reason says one of the co-founders, Bill Weaver, is the girls spent most of their time at the Uitvlucht Primary School and the 7th Heaven Safety Home.
They also paid a fleeting visit to Makukhanya and Pellsrus primaries.
What struck them most, says Sarah, is that the children are always friendly despite the obvious drawbacks of their surroundings and home lives.
They always maintain a joyful disposition.
“The teachers are also incredible,” says Clare.
“Nellie at 7th Heaven is such an inspiration. I don’t know how she manages to be mother to all the children.”
The girls say the unity amongst all the children at both places really impressed them. “They are always looking out for each other.
“They have taught us to be more grateful for what we have and certainly appreciate our own more.”
While spending time at the school the girls followed a well thought out programme with the children.
Weaver says the two girls have impressed everyone enormously: “We have had remarkable feedback from all involved. The girls have functioned independently and have managed to boost staff moral and to enrich the lives of all the children they have come into contact with.
“They have certainly set a very high benchmark for future projects.”
After giving up a trip to Addo to be able to spend more time with the children in Jeffreys Bay, the girls were looking forward to a Cape Town trip before flying home next Saturday.