Six schoolchildren of the Grade 6 class of MC Weiler Primary School flew out of the country on 1 April destined for France’s capital, Paris.
Accompanied by their teacher, Mabandla Sibeko, and Sana Manganye, a facilitator and co-ordinator at Valued Citizens Initiative, the schoolchildren will spend 10 days in Paris with their other counterparts from 51 countries.
Valued Citizens Initiative is a Randburg-based non-governmental organisation which helps forge and create leadership qualities among schoolchildren.
The three boys and three girls who were chosen on the strength of their academic performance, interpersonal skills and leadership capabilities, will participate in various sporting, social and cultural activities, which will include playing soccer in the Fraternity Cup. They are Kagiso April, Karabo Pakola, Mitah Nkabinde, Esau Setumo, Lebone Comakae and NoluvoSondzaba.
The aim of the trip is to promote children’s rights and international social cohesion, and help forge leadership skills in the children to make them better citizens and leaders of the future.
The MC Weiler children are the sole representatives of South Africa, Gauteng and Alexandra in particular.
Although the children are currently not in any leadership position in the school as such, Sibeko said they were part of a group earmarked for those leadership roles once they reach Grade 7.
“We’re grooming them for those roles when the time comes,” Sibeko said. Manganye added that the children were also part of a programme run by her non-governmental organisation, part of which teaches the children to be socially responsible citizens and to never get involved in crime, and report any form of criminality, be it in the school or in the community.
“We’re basically teaching them to take a stand against crime in whatever form and wherever it happens, and we encourage them to report those incidents,” Manganye said.
School principal Flaki Ramothata wished the children bon voyage and urged them to behave themselves and represent South Africa and Alex well.
Edited by Stacey Woensdregt
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