Muchelene Peplouw, Manenberg
To look up in the sky with the naked eye and witness the stars at night is already so spectacular.
The thought of looking at it and also the other planets in the galaxy with South Africa’s biggest telescope, is only an event that one can dream about. However, for 30 pupils of Manenberg Primary, this dream came true.
The group set off on a journey to Sutherland, Northern Cape, on Friday July 8. It all started with an initiative by Grade 4 teacher, Ayesha Kader. With both negative and positive comments being projected, it only made her more determined to go through with it. The purpose of the trip was for the children to see that there are greater things beyond Manenberg.
It was also an opportunity for them to boost their self-esteem and encourage them to go into the field of astronomy. Many didn’t know where Sutherland was situated and for many children, it was the first time they had left Cape Town.
In Sutherland many things were taught to them, such as the birth and death of stars, the different planets, the sun and so on. Many of these theories are taught to them at school, but going to Sutherland was a great opportunity for them to witness how the theory is being implemented and put to practice.
However, taking this journey to Sutherland couldn’t happen overnight and for it to be a success, financial aid was needed. Many fund-raisers were held at the school and donations were given towards this initiative so that it could become the success that it was.
Special thanks to Nicky Rossouw, Mariam Safter, Joyce Albretch, Nadia Philips and Michelle Adams for all the support and lending a hand – from switching on the lights to start the fund-raising to cleaning up afterwards and switching the lights off.
Another heart-warming thank you to Zaheed, Zaheera, Ali, Tahiera, teacher Nadiema, Mr Jansen, the Petersen family, the Olday family, as well as the Kader family.
All the effort, time and money that were put into this initiative were worth it as it brought excitement and joy to the children and their parents.