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SOS kids celebrate charity's 9th birthday with a ride to school in style
19 Jan 2012
(Photos courtesy of Helena Krige)
The start of the school year always represents a special occasion for the staff of SOS Africa. It is not only a time when we celebrate our charity’s birthday and are reunited with all our wonderful (and slightly taller) children, after the long summer break; we also have the privilege of officially welcoming SOS Africa’s latest editions into our ever-growing family as their new school adventures begin.
And if the event wasn’t made special enough already, little did they know they would travel to their first day of school in their brand new bus. It was a delight to see the look of surprise on each their faces as they had been completely unaware of its recent arrival.
When little Kabelo leapt into the school bus he uttered: “I love our big car! It is our very own taxi!” Another SOS child shouted: “Yes, and Aunty Jenny is our very own taxi driver!”
The arrival of our new school bus is also a tremendous relief for the SOS Africa volunteers. As the numbers of children supported by the charity continues to increase, our biggest challenge has been transporting our students safely to school in potentially dangerous driving conditions. When talking to Henry Matthews at the end of the day, he echoed this relief: “Seeing the kids in their new bus gave me an incredibly warm feeling… It is fantastic to know that they can now travel to school together and in safety.”
Jenny Matthews, our SA Operations Manager and designated bus driver was equally delighted. She said that the bus’s first trip through Lonely Park Township took longer than expected: “We kept getting people stopping us to wish us well and to congratulate us.” Then when the SOS Africa school bus pulled up outside the school gates for the very first time, she said that she “struggled to get the kids out of the vehicle; they were just so thrilled to be in their own bus!”
The purchasing of SOS Africa’s first vehicle has only been made possible thanks to the support and generosity of the people of Shepton Mallet and beyond. Particular thanks should go to the Shepton Mallet Rotary Club, the Shepton Mallet Journal and all of those involved in our recent abseil fundraiser (link). It is heart-warming to think of all the kind people who have contributed towards this project over the past 9 months.
We wish each of the SOS Africa children well; from little Thato, Oleb and Boitshepo in Grade 0 through to Mavis in Grade 8! We hope you all continue to make us proud!
To commemorate our 9th birthday and the arrival of our new school bus, SOS Africa is proud to announce that on Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 12pm we will launch of our very first video.
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