Monday, 27 October 2014

Stepping up the preparation for 2015...

With less than 4 months to go before we depart for South Africa this year's group will be really stepping up their fundraising and preparation over the coming weeks. We'd like to take this opportunity to share our plans, let you know what the money we fundraise will be used for and let you know how you can get involved.

Every member of the group going to South Africa in 2015 is part of a smaller group tasked with organising one aspect of this year's project. The activities they are involved in include:

Soup Kitchens

As ever, a large proportion of the money made through fundraising will be used for continued support of the soup kitchens at Dloko and Zwelibanzi. The soup kitchens make a big difference to learners who come from families that find it difficult to provide them with a good meal each day. While we are in South Africa some of our pupils will be learning more about how the soup kitchens are run and how much of a difference they make to the young people at the schools, and will also have the opportunity to cook and serve a meal while they are there.

Cooking in the soup kitchen at Dloko

School Improvements

Some of this year's fundraising money will be used to make improvements to some of the classrooms at Dloko High School that are in most need of a little TLC. The atmosphere of learning environments make a real difference to the classroom experience, so teams of Dloko and Gillespie's learners will be working together to paint classrooms and make them more positive places for studying. We will also be collaborating with the teachers at Dloko and Zwelibanzi to found out if we can provide low-cost teaching resources that would help to facilitate day to day learning and teaching.

In a classroom at Dloko
Pen Pal letters

S1 pupils at JGHS write pen pal letters to South African learners as part of the English curriculum. A team of JGHS pupils will be taking these letters over for the grade 8s and Zwelibanzi and Dloko and will bring replies home for our S1s. Through this scheme we hope to foster a link between students in Scotland and South Africa from their first year in secondary education, and help them to learn a little about another culture.

Reading penpal letters at Zwelibanzi

Cultural exchange

The most importnat aspects of our trip are the cultural exhange between South Africa and Scottish learners and staff, and the global citizenhip values that the trip promotes. During their visit the Gillespie's pupils will be bale to experience lessons in the township schools and will also be participating in a number of cultural workshops. The Gillespie's pupils will be offering workshops in Highand and ceilidh dancing, music and sports and will be given the change to learn some traditional zulu song and dance in return.

Singing and dancing with the choir at Dloko HS


Although our project focuses on global citizenship, empowerment and cultural exchange we do like to take over donations for the South African learners who are not able to afford some of the things that we often take for granted. Over the coming weeks we will be sourcing donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste and will also be trying to collect enough black gym plimsolls to provide a pair for every child at Charles Memorial Primary School, the school linked with James Gillespie's Primary School. As a treat for the high school learners we will also be collecting football tops for the boys and dresses for the girls. All donations are very welcome!

Fundraising... can you help us?

To allow us to continue to support the soup kitchens in our partner schools and make the planned improvements to the school environment we are hoping to raise as much money as we can this year. There will be a number of fundraising activities going on over the coming weeks so keep checking the blog for updates!

At the moment the 'Charity Family' are organising a raffle to be drawn at the end of term before the Christmas break. We are appealing for high quality raffle prizes (restaurant vouchers, theatre tickets, beauty treatments, days out etc) and would love to hear from you if you think you can help! Please contact

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