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Disadvantaged kids from Cape Flats revel in exposure to historical wonders of SA


Posted on 13 October 2009

Dr Mervyn Beukes, a Biochemistry senior lecturer at UPís Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science in a workshop with learners from Sullivan Primary School.
Dr Mervyn Beukes, a Biochemistry senior lecturer at UPís Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science in a workshop with learners from Sullivan Primary School.

The University of Pretoria treated 62 disadvantaged primary school children from the Cape Flats, most of whom have never travelled beyond the confines of their home district, to an experience of a lifetime that included visits to the Cradle of Mankind, Freedom Park, the Voortrekker Monument and the Apartheid Museum.

The Sullivan Primary School Leadership Project enabled the grade 7/8 learners to participate in an exciting and stimulating week-long educational excursion that is directly linked to the school curriculum. The children and their educators were housed at UP’S newest residence, Tuks Naledi in the eastern part of Pretoria.

The main project funder, Prof Jonathan Jansen, former Dean of UP’s Faculty of Education and current Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, was a learner at Sullivan Primary School.

The purpose of the excursion was to help develop leadership, personal and social skills, to broaden their world-view and to inspire them to think creatively and ambitiously about their future. The children were also encouraged to explore issues that affect themselves and their country.

Throughout the week the children engaged in reflection sessions and workshops to enhance the impact of their experiences. These included an afternoon with Dr Mervyn Beukes, a Biochemistry senior lecturer at UP’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, and writer Chris Van Wyk, who presented a workshop entitled “Readers are Leaders”.

Following this project, the educators will work with the children in school on projects that draw on their shared experiences.


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