Miss South Africa 2022 Top 10 visit Malapa Motsetse Foundation in Westbury in first official appearance
The Miss South Africa 2022 Top 10 finalists celebrated Youth Day doing an art class with children from the Malapa Motsetse Foundation NGO, at Dowling Primary school in Westbury.
Making their official debut appearance were Anarzade Omar, Ayanda Thabethe, Itumeleng Parage, Keaoleboga Nkashe, Lebogang Mahlangu, Luvé Meyer, Luyanda Zuma, Ndavi Nokeri, Pearl Ntshehi and Tamsyn Jack.
The young women, one of whom will be crowned Miss South Africa 2022 on August 13, joined 40 excited 11 to 14-year-olds in an inspirational art class given by renowned artist, Neda Roodaki.
The artist, who works in a variety of mediums, believes that the creative artistic process is effective as a stress relief technique: “I call it fun art therapy – but there is more to it than that: it is a language through which people can express themselves.”
Roodaki said it was a privilege to be able to work with children from a troubled environment – 64 percent of students at Dowling Primary have parents who are jobless.
The Miss South Africa Organisation CEO, Stephanie Weil said the Malapa Motsetse Foundation NGO was chosen because the NGO is a beacon of hope – despite the high level of adult unemployment in the area.
“It is a particular honour for the Top 10 to be with the Dowling Primary school children on Youth Day when our country reflects on the massacre of school children during the 1976 Soweto uprising.”
Last year, Miss South Africa 2021, Lalela Mswane, began her reign with a visit to the school, telling the gathered children and teachers she was there to support what she called “an initiative of hope”.
She was referring to the project begun by philanthropist Tim Nash who set up the Malapa Motsetse Foundation to help improve the STEM (Science, Technology, English and Maths) subjects for children who would otherwise have no access to them.
The Malapa Motsetse Foundation supports the Westbury project that feeds and educates 350 primary school children from Monday to Friday and supports 11 primary schools in the area.
Kobus Botha, CEO of the Cradle Boutique Hotel, explained: “The Foundation focuses on preserving and protecting the cultural and natural heritage of a significant part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. The net income earned from the Cradle Boutique Hotel and The Nature Reserve is reinvested into conservation and education which includes support of lauded Westbury’s STEM Programme.”
The programme at the school began with an after-hours supplementary maths programme on computers. When it was discovered that literacy levels were low, this was included in the curriculum. During the pandemic, when schools were closed, or operated on alternate days, the STEM programme supplemented lessons.
Christine Boxall, Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO co-ordinator, said: “Our grounds offer a green safe space for both students and community members. Petty crime and drugs are rife in the area, so we are a haven in the afternoons for our students. We get many parents thanking us for the impacts made on their children’s education. Students who were disinterested have become engaged in their schooling; marks have steadily risen but the most gratifying stories are from the students themselves who have gained confidence their own academic abilities.”
She added: “While we are very grateful for the funding we receive from the Malapa Motsetse Foundation, there is a desperate and continued need for additional funding. We are delighted that the Miss South Africa Top 10 finalists chose to visit our school. It helps shine a spotlight on what we are doing here.”