The Goosebumps Moments were Endless
Commercial Exchange was introduced to the Compass Community Provision & Social Services at a Women’s Property Network, a Nelson Mandela Day initiative.
The Compass Organisation supports destitute families and children by taking in and caring for abused women and children. Some women often arrive with nothing but their children, and the clothes on their back.
The Organisation provides a secure home, three meals a day, and medical and schooling to those in need. Women are also up skilled in various areas to empower them to find work and to make their way in the world.
Our Company is privileged to be a part of the Bothongo Group of Companies – so we decided to do our part in giving back and treat these kids to an outing they would never forget. The destination – the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve which is also owned by the Bothongo Group. The objective was to gift them a day of fun and adventure in the great outdoors.
The excitement that filled the air when the children at the pre-primary were told of what’s to come will remain deep within our hearts. The big eyes, the “are you serious?” faces, the joy, the shrieks of anticipation all filled the air with joy.
On Friday, 24 August, we arrived at the school to collect the children. Dressed in their best, smiles stretched out, and eager to get going and start the day… the little people were transported to the reserve for a day of making dreams come true.
From entering the gate to the play area of the reserve, the children were welcomed by amazi
ng animal sightings. For some, this would be the first time they would ever lay eyes on Africa’s wild.
After a friendly welcome and a prayer of blessings and thanks, the 78 children, ranging from 18 months to 17 years (the majority being less than 6 years old) started their day of fun activities.
From jumping castles and trampolines to jungle gyms and slides, the giggles and shrieks of joy could be heard from afar.
After lunch the older kids were treated to a game drive to the breeding centre where they were able to view the larger animals in the reserve. The younger kids were taken to the animal crèche area to “meet and greet’ the animals.
On return, all the kids dug into ice cream, and enjoyed further playtime. An African sunset and animals themed cake was presented and cut in celebration of the day. The beautifully designed cake was made and designed by Annica’s Designer Patisseries (also part of the Bothongo Group of Companies). Thereafter, the kids enjoyed an educational snake and reptile show performed by the rangers of the reserve.
Children were also spoilt with balloon tiaras and crowns, and had their faces painted in preparation for “battle”…. swinging their balloon swords around and charging one another.
On departure each child was given a lunch box and pencil case, packed with much needed school stationery.
The “goosebump” moments were endless. While driving back in convoy, the children chatted happily about what they had seen – singing their favourite songs. Eventually, there was silence, and when our drivers turned around – their eyes were met with exhausted, happy and sleeping children.
The children were all safely delivered back to the school with gifts, and special memories of the day.
Big, warm hugs of thanks and gratitude were shared between all. Tears filled our eyes as we reflected on how fortunate most of us are and how grateful we were to be able to give these children a day that happens once in a lifetime.
A big thank you to Women’s Property Network and the Green Building Council of South Africa for the introduction to the school and for all their support. Also, to those who contributed in making the day an incredible success… there are no words to say how grateful we are.
We look forward to supporting the Compass Organisationin the future.
by Jenny Carazzo