Tongaat High serves humanity
Pupils scoop top prize in 5FM competition
TAKING the initiative to protect the environment and show compassion for its community has earned the Rotary Interact Club of Tongaat Secondary School first prize in the national 5FM Global Citizen Challenge.
For its efforts, the school was awarded 50 tickets to attend the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg with performances by international superstars Beyoncé, Jay Z and Ed Sheeran.
Club secretary, Mayuri Nair, 16, said for the competition they were given five days to complete various tasks that impacted positively on the environment and community.
They selected the recycling category. “When our teacher, Mrs NK Pillay, told us about the challenge, we were extremely excited. We were already involved in community projects and were up for the challenge.”
For the challenge, the pupils had to create a two-minute video which showed the recycling projects they completed within the week.
“We also had to go into the community to empower and enlighten people on the importance of recycling, and find innovative ways to recycle. Our first initiative was going through our school’s storeroom, and collecting all old books, cardboard boxes and newspapers which we handed over to Napri’s Waste,” said Nair.
“Using our creative skills, we decided to use plastic shopping bags to create flowers and taught other pupils at the schools we visited how to make them. Plastic causes great harm to the environment. Instead of throwing your plastic away, why not reuse it? For example, if you have a party at home, why spend large amounts of money on fresh flowers, be creative,” she said.
The club also visited local fabric businesses, for sponsorship of material. They made 350 bean-bags to be given to the pupils at different special need schools in the area.
Grade 8 pupil, Breyal Govender, 13, said the idea was to help improve the pupils’ motor skills. “We also visited the library to speak to the librarians about e-books and why they should get that.”
The club recently completed its 67 projects in honour of Mandela’s 100th birthday celebration.
This included raising an amount of R7 000 for the Childhood Cancer Foundation of SA by holding bake sales.
Other projects ranged from entertaining senior citizens, collecting food and household goods for the poor, and assisting with the Tongaat Child Welfare Christmas party.
School principal, R Singh, said he was proud to be leading such wonderful children.
“They always give of their best and that includes giving up their time in the afternoons and weekends to serve those in need.”
Businessman, Vivian Reddy, who sponsored the transport and accommodation for the trip, said the initiative by the pupils should be applauded and emulated.
“Their only barrier for attending the concert was the transportation and accommodation. It was my duty as a citizen of this country who cares about the plight of the less fortunate among us to act. I believe that parents must teach their children about the act of kindness and assisting the needy from a young age. It will create a future generation of people that collectively will help to uplift our country due to their belief that service to humanity is the work of God,” he said.
The Rotary Interact Club of Tongaat Secondary School won first place in the national 5FM Global Citizen Challenge. Seen are, from left, Kimmisha Singh, Breyal Govender, Vedal Angnu, teacher, Maggie Naidoo, Lizelle Govender, Yanganani Ntlabati, Theegan Naicker and Mayuri Nair. Back, Sholin Govender, and principal, R Singh.