An outreach initiative in the Transkei which has had a considerable impact particularly on the educational front, is now requiring assistance to bolster the community’s healthcare needs – namely first aid kits for the local school and medical/paramedical assistance for the local clinic.

Driving force behind the initiative, which has already inspired two films and has achieved a second place overall in the National Lead SA awards, has been former Rondebosch Boys High School maths teacher, Eastern Cape “ex-pat”, Rowan Harmuth*.

For two weeks a year, Harmuth has been enlisting the services of teacher colleagues to assist with an extensive academic programme he has put in place at the Isolomzi Senior Secondary School – a programme that has since seen the school’s annual matric pass rate soar from 66% to 100% between 2013 and 2017.

Their next trip is in June for when the kits are required.

Most recent venture has been the visit of a group of learners from Rondebosch Boys High School, Rustenburg Girls High School, Springfield Convent and Rhenish Girls High School who joined their rural Isolomzi counterparts in a daily routine consisting of three ninety minute lessons in Maths, Maths Literacy, Accounting and Life Sciences as part of the outreach programme.

Asked about the Isolomzi experience in a subsequent school magazine interview, teacher Matteo Greyling recalled: “A small contribution can certainly go a long way and meeting these amazing people and writing Maths sums and notes on chipped chalk boards in small dusty classrooms certainly took the term ‘appreciation’ to a whole new level – appreciation for all teachers out there and appreciation for the education that we receive that many other South Africans don’t have access to.”

Sentiments shared by Harmuth himself, who added: “Needless to say, this whole trip has been most gratifying in terms of meeting an essential need. But there are many others in Isolomzi, not least healthcare. The local clinic, for example, is poorly equipped and badly in need of medical and paramedical assistance.

“The school itself is also short on personal health needs, such as first aid kits. All contributions will be most welcome!”

*Contact details: Rowan Harmuth 0832285698 rowan.harmuth@rondebosch.com