As Fall is speeding by and children are well into their school routines again, we wanted to share an uplifting story about our Collette Cares South Africa project. Through partnership with Knysna Education Trust (KET), we have sponsored the building of a new preschool called Happy Faces – an appropriately named school as the 67 children who attended school there this past year were incredibly happy to have a safe, new environment for learning. This is the third school we have helped to build since beginning our partnership with KET in 2007.
After a devastating fire at the Church where school was previously held occurred, Principal Elizabeth moved the ‘school’ into her own home for the sake of the children. The dedication of Elizabeth and others to making sure this community had a school after theirs was lost was inspiring. The Community as a whole is committed to the education of their children and has been participating in rebuilding this school. The community understands that education will help their children by providing more opportunities in their lives. In many cases, the meal the children receive at school is their only meal that day.
KET believes that “every child deserves at least one good meal a day and the right to a reasonable pre-school care and a competitive preschool education. All children from the disadvantaged communities will be able to compete equally against the more privileged counterparts once they start attending primary school.” This initiative is something that Collette Cares has supported since 2007 with over $170,000 in funding used to directly impact approximately 2,250 students through the KET Adopt a Child’s Education, renovating existing schools, adding Blackboards to over 30 schools, Holiday party support, backpack program and building new schools. Our Spectacular South Africa Tours goes into the townships that KET supports and meets with the students we have helped. Our guests have also been tremendous in supporting this endeavor while on tour as well as doing fundraisers after the tour. We are very proud of all that we have been able to accomplish these past eight years and are thrilled to see so many Happy Faces.