Pupils test their mettle

Mimosa Primary Schools Gavilene Maclula, left, and Rushdeen White, both in Grade 7, with the programme co-ordinator, Estrelita Visagie.

Mimosa Primary School pupils put their new-found skills to the test when they arranged and hosted a community outreach programme.

Estrelita Visagie, the school’s care and support assistant, said the Grade 6 and Grade 7 pupils are part of the Personal Mastery Life Skills group.

Ms Visagie works closely with the Western Cape Education Department’s social workers and psychologists.

The life skills programme deals with leadership, body language, eye contact, public speaking, and prepares the Grade 7 pupils for challenges they might face in high school.

On Wednesday May 23, the pupils invited stakeholders from the community, including their parents, the owner of the area’s pharmacy, non-profit organisations and even the taxi guard, Yaseen Abrahams, who offers free rides for pensioners from the age of 70.

The idea behind the gathering was to show appreciation to those who continue to do good work, despite the very challenging social evils in the community. “We are all affected by gang violence, for example, but the people we invited all continue to serve our community,” Ms Visagie said.

Gavilene Maclula, in Grade 7, said she was nervous when she had to do public speaking, as “everyone was looking at me”.

“It got easier as the programme went along though, and then I became excited,” she added.

Rushdeen White, also in Grade 7, said being the master of ceremonies was a breeze for him.

“I have been a master of ceremonies before. I had to read aloud. The story that stood out for me today was when Mr Abrahams shared why he decided to offer free rides to the elderly. He said that gangsters often demand free rides in taxis, but that the elderly deserve it much more, as they are more important.

“I am happy to be part of the life skills group, as I have learnt so much. We have learnt about bullying and safety, and many other things,” Rushdeen said.