It's splish, splash and splosh for city's orphans

29 November 2004

Dragon races. Overnight bush camping. Mini concerts. Adventures at Rondevlei. All the ingredients for an unforgettable weekend for 40 of the city's orphaned children. The occasion? A camp at the Zeekoevlei Environmental Education Programme, arranged by students on the Associate in Management Programme (Aim) at the Graduate School of Business (GSB). The youngsters, aged between eight and 12, were gathered from SOS children's homes Beautiful Gate, Durbanville Orphanage and Nazareth House. Aim student and organiser Zubeida Williams was impressed by the ease with which the children bonded once they had shed initial shyness and joined in a few icebreakers. The highlight? Undoubtedly the dragon boat races on the Sunday afternoon, despite their initial misgivings. Williams said the camp had been an eye-opener for the students. "By the time Sunday came around, we looked at them very differently. We can do more for them and others like them, not just by organising events like these, but by making a personal effort to do something substantial for them." Aim director Linda Ronnie agreed, adding that the students realised that social responsibility did not rely solely on contributions from business but also tapped into individual responses. The children didn't even get a glimpse of Rondevlei nature reserve's elusive hippopotamus. Maybe next time.

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