In September, Golder Board Director Rens Verburg visited one of the projects sponsored by the Golder Trust for Orphans (GTO): the Nokuphila School, a mere 15 minutes away from our Midrand office in South Africa. He was accompanied by Brent Baxter, a local Principal and GTO Trustee. They were welcomed by a representative of The Love Trust, a non-profit organization that focuses on education of vulnerable children, teacher training, and early childhood development.
The Nokuphila School is the flagship project of The Love Trust. It consists of a pre-school and primary school, and currently serves approximately 350 children up to standard five (grade seven). The children come from Tembisa, one of the main townships in Johannesburg housing nearly 1 million underprivileged people. The school offers education, of course, but also transportation, meals, athletic and cultural opportunities, and social support beyond the classroom. It has proven very successful in its mission, as evidenced by the signage on the entry way indicating that all classes are full.
How we helped this project:
- Provided funds for new primary school furniture
- Held a Golder Employee Volunteer trip to build a jungle gym for the school
- Funded the construction of the multi-purpose sports fields and water fountains
- Provided funding for building classrooms in the main primary school
- Provided funding for building new classrooms for the new pre-primary building at the primary school
- Provided funding for educational materials (e.g. text books, library books, etc.)
A brief introduction to The Love Trust and its mission at the Nokuphila School was followed by a tour of the premises.
“I was extremely impressed with the welcoming staff, colorful and immaculate facilities, organizational efficiency, and the educational resources available,” Rens shared. “But what moved me most were the children themselves. Their joy at being there was palpable, and it was clear they were in an environment where they felt safe and cherished.”
Their devotion to learning was obvious as well. Rens visited classrooms in which the children were either glued to their books or showed very high levels of engagement with their teachers.
All in all, Rens came away from his visit thoroughly impressed with the activities of The Love Trust at the Nokuphila School, and it made him proud to know Golder and the GTO are contributing to its success. He wants to thank the staff for their hospitality and wishes them continued success with their worthwhile project.
More information on the GTO, The Love Trust and the Nokuphila School can be found here.