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Whitelands College Guild purchases textbooks for South African Community

The College alumni association made an award of £2500 to purchase textbooks for a new educational project in the community of Hundzukani.

Posted: 1 October 2012

image for news story Whitelands College Guild purchases textbooks for South African Community
Members of the Hundzukani community with Roehampton visitors.

Earlier this year Whitelands College Guild most generously made an award of £2500 to purchase textbooks for a new educational project in the community of Hundzukani.

Staff and students from the Department Life Sciences first visited Hundzukani during their 2011 fieldtrip. There they learnt about the project to provide classes and to train young people to become field guides/national park guides. They train in the community and in the surrounding wildlife parks and, at the end of this period, they are able to sit the examinations of the South African National Parks. If successful, they become official national field guides and can work with visitors in any of the parks of South Africa. When planning the 2012 field trip the department approached the Whitelands College Guild, the College alumni association founded in 1881, for charitable funding to help this project; the Guild agreed to an award of £2500.

Using the Guild funds the Department was able to purchase a fantastic range of the key textbooks that the project needed. In all they purchased 104 books and a range of educational DVDs and a secure bookcase. A book plate, describing the gift from the Whitelands College Guild in collaboration with the University of Roehampton, was put into each book.

The books were handed over to the Community in an informal ceremony watched by a very interested group of young students. Two students from the University, Michael Terrington and Ingrid Hetland, made the official presentation to Sidney Mathebula, the director of the training programme in the presence of the Nduma (the traditional Headman of the community) and his advisers. All involved were overwhelmed by seeing such a quantity of books knowing it to be a huge boost to a valuable educational project. Members of the department will be returning to the Hundzukani in 2013 and will be able to monitor how the project has progressed.

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