Providing drought relief together

The bottles of water collected by pupils.
Two Bellville schools came together earlier this month to help raise funds and collect water for drought-ravaged Northern Cape farms and old age homes.

Bellpark Primary and Bellville North both hosted Braaibroodjie Days where each child was asked to donate R15 and a roll. 

Cheron Aspeling, a Grade 2 teacher at Bellville North, said: “My parents stay in Brandvlei, and last month while visiting them we saw how dry it is up there and how most of the Northern Cape towns are struggling to survive. I asked myself what I can do to help.”

I went onto the website of Boere Droogtehulp SA, an organisation that helps raise funds and gets donations for drought-hit farms and which I am a member of.

“That’s where I saw the sale of a virtual braaibroodjie for R15. On the site, it said that each R15 allows a truck containing supplies to farmers to travel another 2km, so that’s when I decided to have one at the school.

Ms Aspeling added that on Tuesday December 3, each child contributed towards the cause and a total of R32 000 was raised, but before the day they also sent a challenge out to neighbouring schools. 

Bellpark Primary answered the call and on the same day they hosted their own version of Braaibroodjie Day but in addition to the R15 they also asked pupils to take bottles of water to school.
Deon Wentzel, a teacher at Bellpark, said: “We got the call from Bellville North, and we immediately decided to help as it was for a good cause. We then decided to ask children to bring in a bottle of water, anything from a 500ml to a 5 litre and also to bring their R15. On the day we were surprised to see that most children brought way more than the R15 and most also brought in a 5 litre bottle of water.”

Mr Wentzel added that more donations were made by parents on the day and once everything was collected they decided to find a unique way to get it to their neighbours at Bellville North. 

“The schools are under a 1km away from each other so we decided to form a human chain between the two schools and hand over our water, which in total was 1 000 5-litre bottles.”

Ms Aspeling said that on the day of the human chain she felt a great sense of pride in both schools and she was happy to have played a part in helping drought-stricken areas. 

“We handed our donations, which came down to R32 000 from us and R22 000 from Bellpark along with some of the bottles of water, to Chris van Biljon of the Boere Droogtehulp SA and he was very grateful for it. The rest of the water will be distributed to old age homes in areas like Laingsburg, Brandvlei and Calvinia.”

Mr Van Biljon confirmed the donation and said the organisation was grateful for the support shown by the parents, staff and pupils of both schools.