Wakkerstroom-Wes Primary School
Wakkerstroom-Wes Primary School is located about 160km from Cape Town on Route 62, a world-famous wine region. The approximately 500 children and youth in grades 1 to 7 come from the surrounding wine farms and often have troubled backgrounds. Just as in the city in the countryside poverty, lack of education, alcoholism and violence affect families. And as is often the case, it is the children who suffer the most from the many social and economic problems.
Our employed missionaries Marco and Justine Spalke have known the small farm school Wakkerstroom-Wes Primary School since 2005 and even back then it was very encouraging to see the passion with which the school’s management and teachers cared for the children. Where the government often overlooked this small school, over the years private donations and numerous volunteers were able to bring about many changes in the lives of the students and their families as well as in the school’s facilities. For example, a small school bus was donated back then, but unfortunately it broke down after many years of daily use on the rural dirt roads.
In 2021 the contact with this special school has been revived again, this time with HOSA e.V.. We were privileged to be the link between the Wakkerstroom-Wes Primary School and BILD hilft e.V. “Ein Herz für Kinder” from Germany and submitted an application for a school bus in 2022. The school wanted nothing more than to be able to offer reliable school transport again. Most children have such a long way to go to school, which they have to do alone on foot along long country roads (with no sidewalks), that they often arrive at school far too late or, in bad weather, not at all. This, in turn, affects their education enormously, which is also not compensated for by the poorly educated parents at home.
The joy was all the more exuberant when in December 2022 the 60-seater school bus was welcomed with great cheers by the Wakkerstroom students and teachers! Since the new school year in January 2023, the bus is now in daily use and enables the children a constant school attendance, as well as higher safety in traffic. It is always an encouragement to see that through a little cooperation, generous people and a lot of passion from everyone involved, sustainable change can be achieved for so many children!