This article first appeared in the 1 July 2022 edition of the Cape Argus newspaper.
Cape Town - Parents and members of the Hangberg community, where Hout Bay High School is located, have taken it upon themselves to paint over the graffiti on walls, desks and classrooms, as part of their “Reclaiming Our Space” initiative.
The initiative is a holiday project that is currently taking place at the school, while staff are also doing extra classes with pupils for their winter school programme.
The school’s principal, Faseeg Manie, said the school grounds had been plagued by graffiti for a long time.
“For a good while in the past, some parts of the school had been strewn with graffiti, and this did not make for a pretty sight. Under those conditions, the teaching-learning environment had been compromised in some ways, and this had the effect of making the school community feel demotivated and demoralised,” he said.
He said during the March holidays, the school made an attempt to fix the school – but the effort was “severely constrained by a lack of funds and personnel.”
Donnel Fray, from the NGO Change said that she felt very blessed in her own life and that she “does not have much, but has enough.”
She feels that she wants to give back to the community, and wants to change the mindset of handouts and expectations.
“This initiative was that the parent, teacher and child should work together to reclaim the space.
“In our community, I would like to bring more resources to our school, because, at the end of the day, the youth are our future and we should make education our first priority, and help change the mindset of the youth,” she said.
Liesl Arendse-Holmes, who is also part of the NGO, said they wanted to see the project through by cleaning the school, to start on a clean slate and give children a good environment for learning.