Two days of community impact for Round Square International Conference
Project Abroad partnered with the Tore’s Foundation to facilitate two successful community engagement days for students and staff attending the 2017 Round Square International Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
On October 3rd and 4th, around 900 high school students from schools belonging to the global Round Square network, spread out around Cape Town to take part in various forms of community engagement at schools in disadvantaged local communities. Projects Abroad, an international organization that facilitates volunteering programs in 30 countries around the world including in South Africa, helped organize the two days of outreach, ensuring its success.
Through activities including debating, creative writing, gardening, painting, literacy workshops, sports, and more, Round Square students interacted with students from the local Cape Town schools, and were able to learn about vastly different educational experiences. The schools visited were appreciative of these interactions, and some benefitted from newly painted classroom murals, planted gardens, new friendships, and ultimately, memories of an inspiring two days that will linger for years to come.
One of the schools visited was Steenberg High School. Principle, Andre Kraak, believes the exchange would have instilled in his school’s students a greater sense of self-worth. “Through the visit by students from around the world, our students have learned to appreciate what they have here, and will look after our school with more respect and care,” he says.
Marlene Snell of the Tore’s Foundation, who partnered with Projects Abroad to make the two days possible, believes the outreach has incentivized all the students involved to increase their active citizenship. “I hope we’ve done enough to open the eyes of both sides of the children, the ones helping and the local children that have come, to aspire to be involved in their communities and countries.”
The Round Square International Conference was a once-off event in South Africa, but Projects Abroad’s continued impact in communities in South Africa through its ongoing volunteering programs ensures that community upliftment and cultural exchange remains ongoing where Projects Abroad is able to facilitate such interactions. This is in line with Projects Abroad’s mission and values, to help where help is needed, and foster global interactions to create a world with greater mutual respect and understanding.