Watching a child’s face light up at the sight of a new school uniform is an emotional and rewarding experience that never loses appeal for us. Throughout our relationship with Imibala, we have watched our guests arrive at this multifaceted facility with high expectations and depart with newfound optimism.
The primary focus of the Imibala Trust is the provision of primary education for the underprivileged children of the Helderberg area of the Western Cape through its ‘Sponsor a Child’ program. How it works is that children from outlying schools arrive after their regular school day to explore a variety of extracurricular activities ranging from art and pottery classes to drama, ballet, math enrichment, computer literacy and life skills.
Interactions with the children, conducted entirely by volunteers from the local community, are handled with sensitivity, candor and good humor as they conjure up stimulating experiences that will encourage the children to develop their creative skills. To date our involvement with Imibala has revolved around the generating of sponsorship to cover uniforms and school fees for a year. ‘School uniforms have deep cultural roots in Africa in that they give children a sense of pride and belonging and they level the playing fields,’ says Deborah Calmeyer. ‘In a world where most of us view uniforms as an anachronism, a school uniform in Africa has the power to change a life.’