Ten Beacon Hill High School pupils, two teachers and the principal are off to take part in a global conference on youth and sustainable development goals.
They will be joined by pupils from Kuils River, Bonteheuwel, Langa, Stellenbosch, India, Nepal, Peru, Tanzania, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Togo, Mongolia, Uganda and Indonesia in the Netherlands from Tuesday June 2 until Sunday June 14.
They were invited by Global Exploration, a Dutch organisation that enables young people to discover the world, particularly developing countries and to bring a change in behaviour among these youth.
The non-profit organisation works with 20 secondary schools in long-term partnerships working towards their motto “Together one World”.
Pupil Burgitha Allie, 16, from Eastridge, said she would like to disprove what foreigners think about South Africa, specifically what they think they know about communities like Mitchell’s Plain.
“Our school is situated in Mitchell’s Plain but it is the pupils who make up the school. We are not just about gangsterism, drugs, teenage pregnancy and other illegal stuff,” she said.
Burgitha said the school has had a lot of challenges but has overcome them to ensure a better future for its pupils.
“There is a lot more discipline at the school. Before pupils used to smoke around the school building and just disrespect everyone and the school grounds,” she said.
Sihle Mandaba said she asked the principal to go on the trip. “It is my dream to go overseas, explore more cultures and get the best school experience,” she said.
Grade 10 pupil Matthew Craig, 15, from Eastridge, said he was excited but was concerned about raising funds to go on the trip.
The organisation invited the pupils to attend the conference and stay at their homes for the almost two-week stay.
They will visit several schools and universities, discuss sustainable goals with other students, visit Dutch cultural places and many other places of interest.
Principal Gregory Kannemeyer said it was a great opportunity for the pupils but they had to raise their own funds to attend.
Teacher Ricardo Adamson said they would be showing the world that Beacon Hill pupils are diverse, represent different cultures and religions.
“We respect everyone and that is one of our values, which would like to share with them,” he said.
Grade 11 pupil Jaden Abrahams, 17, from Tafelsig, would like to host a braai, while in the Netherlands. “Braaiing is fantastic because it brings people together,” he said.
For more information and to help the pupils realise their goal of attending the Global Exploration conference, call the school on 021 376 1300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org