bringing out the best in boys

Wellacre’s Adventures in South Africa

Posted at 12:06 pm on 12th March, 2020

AfriTwin 2020 - Sharing Education Together

In February 2020, Wellacre staff and students travelled to South Africa for the exhilarating school cultural exchange adventure, AfriTwin.

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The team of Year 9 and 10 students have spent two years in preparation for the trip, fundraising to collect funds towards the project and working with link school, Ferrum High School in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.  

Wellacre students spent almost three weeks following an exciting schedule of cultural activities, sightseeing tours and a stay with a host family; many of the experiences were once in a lifetime opportunities!

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The adventure began in Cape Town and a boat trip to Robben Island, meeting wild penguins on Boulders Beach and a trip to Seal Island.  In Durban, students enjoyed a beachfront bike ride, swam with sharks at Ushaka Marine World and also dived into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.  

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Students saw more wildlife when they visited a Game Reserve and saw crocodiles, giraffes and zebras in their natural habitat, as well as visiting a lion farm.  They waded up to their necks in mud when they took a dip in mud and sulphur pools.

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Year 9 student Izac said:

“We did a lot of activities that gave us a great adrenalin rush, such as seeing the lions up close and abseiling down a mountain!  I enjoyed the week with my host family and friend Xanderi, they took us out sightseeing and made me feel at home.”

 

Finally, Wellacre boys visited the battlefield sites of Rorke’s Drift, Island Iwana, Fort Amiel and Mount Amajuba where they laid specially designed poppies in memory of those who fought and died in the Boer Wars. 

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Accompanied by AfriTwin Co-ordinators Mr Wise, Cover Supervisor, and Mrs Hill, Teacher of Maths, the boys were exemplary ambassadors for Wellacre and AfriTwin.   They were Year 10 students Ben, Caleb, Matthew, Dylon and Edward, and Year 9s Xiomar, Finnan, Michael, Noah, Izac, Joe, Oliver and Jack.  

Mrs Hill said:

“The AfriTwin experience is a wonderful and unique opportunity for Wellacre students.  This year, the team have, yet again, made the most of their time in South Africa and were energetic, inquisitive and engaged throughout - they were a pleasure to travel.

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“When our students met their host families, everyone was excited about their time together and our boys were made to feel very welcome.  Both Matthew and Michael gave eloquent and impassioned speeches to the learners at Ferrum High School, encouraging them to make a return visit to Wellacre in 2021.”

As part of the project, the group visited Wellacre and Ferrum High’s adopted township school, Chelmsford Primary School and learnt about the challenging budget restraints on which the school operates.  The Chelmsford Headteacher was pleased to receive donated stationery and sports equipment from the Wellacre team. 

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Year 10 student Edward added:

“It was really interesting to visit Chelmsford pupils and tour the school, it was very basic.  It felt good to hand over all our donations. AfriTwin was a completely new and different experience; I’ve never been to that side of the equator!”

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The AfriTwin initiative ensures students benefit from an understanding of other cultures, a development of good citizenship skills, forging of new friends, and opportunities to learn new skills and values.  The South African adventure builds pride, self-esteem and personal growth for all students. As an extension of the AfriTwin project, the team will be fundraising for the Morester Children’s Home, Newcastle, and their residents.