Maraletsane Primary School was situated across the tar road, and close to the main gate of Welgevonden. As part of Welgevonden’s commitment to the local community, the reserve assisted the school in many ways over a number of years before it closed down.
The school was closed at the end of 2010 as part of the Department of Education’s strategy to improve the schooling of farm children by placing them in larger better equipped schools in the local towns. Numerous “farm schools” were closed at this time with the students being allocated to local town schools. The Department of Education assists learners with transport to and from the towns on a daily basis.
Here are some of the projects that Welgevonden was delighted to be involved in:
School Game Drive...
On the morning of Thursday the 3rd of November 2007, Welgevonden continued its long standing arrangement with Mareletsane Primary School to take the children on a game drive into Welgevonden. Amid much excitement, the children, teachers and some parents set off to look for game and to simply enjoy the experience of being in a game reserve (and let’s not forget a day out of the classroom is always appreciated).
The Headmaster was extremely grateful and emphasised how important this annual excursion is in terms of instilling an appreciation of wildlife and nature in the children. Andre and Edward from the WLOA provided the wildlife expertise and many thanks to Francois from Site 5 for his vehicle, time and extremely enthusiastic assistance. Hot dogs and cool drinks at the main office completed what was a really successful day.
Budding Young Talent...
Children from the local school excelled during the 2007 National Science week, with several first prizes in the Waterberg District. This is excellent for such a small farm school.
They proudly came to show off their projects to the Welgevonden staff. If anyone would like to make a donation to the school, please contact the Welgevonden office.
Housing of School Bicycles...
The school was given 47 bicycles by the Department of Education in 2005. This was part of a programme where schools in the Limpopo Province were supplied with bicycles to assist children in getting to and from school. However, this was on condition that these bicycles be handed back to the school during the school holidays, which caused quite a dilemma as they had no secure building in which to store the bicycles.
Welgevonden came to the rescue by welding burglar bars across the classroom windows and securing the door, as an interim solution while we looked at the possibility of erecting a more permanent structure for this purpose.
It was eventually decided that a shipping container would offer the secure environment they were looking for. Welgevonden then purchased a shipping container for the school, which was delivered on the 31st of January 2006, amidst great excitement and appreciation from children and teachers alike.
We hope that this will keep their bicycles and other equipment safe and dry, and that the container will solve some of their theft problems.
In addition, the Welgevonden road team repaired the school’s access road as well as a low water bridge on the road to the school which was badly damaged after heavy rains in mid January 2006. This project not only allowed daily access to the school, but was also necessary in order to deliver a long-awaited container.