Sarepta Secondary in Kuils River will see dead grass transformed into a sports field and running track in coming months.
While a non-profit, Kulisa Solutions, and a company, WNS Global Services, are covering the costs of the project, the work is being done by a team of 20 Grade 11s.
They are being taught how to do the job. The project is called Youth4Change and it started in April.
The work includes cleaning up the field, cutting the long grass, weeding, removal of mole hills, importing new soil and planting the buffalo grass.
Therefore, the 3.5-hectare field will be turned into a field for soccer and rugby and an adjacent running track. The deadline for the job is the end of November.
Lameez Keraan, assistant manager at WNS Global Services, said the Youth4Change was not a “hand-out but a hand-up.”
Pupils will get certificates at the end of the project.
“Most of these learners come from poor homes and it is our duty to make them feel like they belong. WNS has offered to help the learners get into tertiary institutions, depending on their commitment to this project,” Ms Keraan said.
Pupil Victorino Manuel said the team had been given a chance to change anything at the school, and they had decided the sports field made the most sense.
“Having the sports field will bring everyone together including teachers and learners. Also other schools could join us for tournaments,” he said.
Another pupil, Themba Daniels, said the school had come first place at the inter-schools athletics earlier this year, but athletes had had to train at various sports grounds, which had become expensive.
The school’s principal, Yolanda Basson, said: “The 20 learners have shown so much improvement since they became part of this project in the second term. They have the ability to be great leaders one day.”