Schitsdrift (pronounced Skeetsdrift) is a rural school in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. It provides education and wider community services for children of poor local Zulu families. The children often walk up to twenty kilometres per day to school and back. It was a rundown state school but is now totally voluntary funded under the trustee leadership of the local owner of Spion Kop Lodge hotel, Lynette Heron, who is a retired teacher. It has over two hundred pupils and the buildings have been totally refurbished by benefactors. However, there is still a struggle to provide basics such as books and stationery and the Lions have provided computers and internet satellite connections to try and give the children access to up to date information.
The teachers, whose first language is Zulu, are required to teach in English since this is the universal language of South Africa. For a second year Lions Sue Owen and Barry Dale, are working with Arden Head of Sixth Form, Pete Simpson, and Deputy Head, Kate Griffiths, to continue the project that will give pupils valuable experience and provide valuable assistance to Schitsdrift. Arden sixth formers will now again visit Schitsdrift to teach English, Maths, IT and other subjects and help develop the children’s English skills, general education as well as help to improve the teachers’ use of English in the classroom. Martin Murphy, Principal of Arden Academy, said “This is a fabulous opportunity for our young people and knowing the calibre of the students who will be visiting Schitsdrift I am sure they will be ambassadors for our school and local community. We hope the positive impact they make on the lives of the children will be something that the children in South Africa remember forever.”
Eight Arden sixth formers will fly to South Africa in July for four weeks to continue the project first started last year. They have been chosen after a rigorous selection procedure by both Arden and the Lions. They are now busy fund raising to finance this experience of a lifetime and are intending entering the Fun Run as a team! If you would care to donate to this or their other fundraising efforts please contact either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Lion President, Barry Dale said “ We are delighted that this project was such a success in its inaugural year and to be working again with Arden to further the work that was achieved last year. We look forward to continuing to strengthen the Lions’ relationship with Schitsdrift and Spion Kop Lodge”.