Work and play for kids visiting TUT
By Phillip van der Merwe
More than 60 children from under-privileged or previously disadvantaged communities are gaining an insight into South Africa’s local environment through a project called Soapkidz which was started several years ago by Karen Hauptfleisch .
“We recently joined forces with the final year Adventure Tourism students at Tshwane University of Technology and, using the students as “lecturers” these kids were given practical, hands-on guidance about caring for the environment and actually planted trees, helped us to remove alien plants and even collected litter as part of cleaning up the Groenkloof nature reserve,” said Hauptfleisch
Soapkidz – a not-for-profit organization – has been funded mainly through donations from friends and relatives but is now actively seeking commercial partners that can assist it to grow and develop. Already more than 4000 kids have attended various activity-days organized specifically to further an awareness of the South African environment.
Hauptfleisch says that she has seen just how these kids – most often from disadvantaged or under-privileged backgrounds – respond to the environment. “What’s also wonderfully rewarding is to see the young students giving up their time to spend an afternoon or a day with youngsters and show them how important the environment is to all of us,” she said.
“The response from volunteer groups has also been wonderful to see. For instance for the fun day we held in May, people from ABSA Bank’s call centre gave up their time to spend with these kids and members of the St John’s Ambulance teams were on standby while we entertained the youngsters,” said Hauptfleisch.
Apart from the environmental issues, kids were encouraged to go rock-climbing with experienced climbers from the Adventure Tourism faculty and were also given a basic first-aid course by St John’s Ambulance first aid instructors.
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"I loved today, I am sue that I have learned just as much as the kidz have.
You guys don’t always realize the difference you make in people’s lives.
"Like always had lots of fun. Day’s planning was excellent think kids learned a lot. I do think that we did make a diff in this kids live.
Keep up the good work!
"Today was awesome! I think it was very productive and effective! This is something to be done more often!! Thanks a lot! Please contact me for the next one!
PS: Phone Pick ‘n Pay Quagga - 3 weeks before for any kind of sponsorship
"Well planned day, kids absolutely enjoyed day, good activities – interesting
Groupleaders struggled at times to move between stations – long waiting periods. All group leaders are extremely keen and passionate
"Het dit baie geniet. Dink al die aktiwiteite was baie leersaam. Ek dink net party was dalk te lank – die kinders het begin moeg raak en konsentrasie verloor."
"I liked rock climbing. It was exciting and scary. It was nice to learn about trees, the knots were fun and might be useful in the future. It was nice to learn new games to play at home.
Kevin - SOAPkid
"Today had been a nice and great day. I did the things I haven’t did before like climbing the rocks. The other things is that I picked up papers, planted a tree and played this awesome game called the princess and the queen a had a great day ever I am glad that you were a the same place as me but we did not walk together I hope one day I come back were at the tshwane university of technology
So see you later
THSETSO - SOAPkid
"Ek het van alles gehou, want alles het ‘n spesifieke doel gehad en verskillend uitdagings en verantwoordelikheid. Ek sal graag weer dit wil doen veral die muurklim, dit was nog altyd vir my om na uit te sien
Angelique - SOAPkid
"I like everything I did!!
I liked running around.
I liked climbing the wall.
Planting a tree, Eating because it’s m favourite. I send it to my friends and everybody who would like to read it. And itss the first time I went to pallidish stadium
POTSISO MVUNDLELA - SOAPkid
"I liked to climb walls and I also liked ot have fun with SOAPkidz and we had logs and lots of fun and they also listened to when we where talking in the group and we had a lot of fun with the group and they all listen tous thank you SOAPkidz we hope yo had a lof of fun thank you
WILSON - SOAPkid
"We enjou about soccer and I love that and love it. I love to play bawayana bawyana. We enjoy about eat and we claimb. I love them all Iand I love you very well. I still love toplay. We are shy they are teaching very well
KATLEGO AND JACOBETH - SOAPkid
"I just want to tell you about my day.
Good: I exersed a lot and had a great weekend/day ever and ate popcorns.
I was tired and I could hardly walk
Ugly: The most ugly ting was that I felt asleep with there was a man talking and then I realized that I was asleep by the time I woke up a was scared
We have to also go to the Tshwane University of Technology you will have fun too, in write to you again
Cool Crazy Inteligent Super Sezy (THSETSO) R.T. COM - SOAPkid
"3. Hey! Everyone, First of all I would like to say thanks very much for everything you have done, you really made things easy for while I was on camp if I had been a trouble or have caused you problems. Please forgive me but I think that you being in my assist you were nice and kind you being with me really meant a lot because, it showed me that I was cared for and love, so I wish you would not only do it for me but for there others as well. Wishing you a wonderful merry Christmas and Happy new year and Thank you again. Love to all of you
Tebogo - SOAPkid