Interact is Rotary for teenagers aged 14-18. It teaches leadership and citizenship whilst being a whole lot of fun for those involved.
Our Interact Club is based at the Weiveld Hotel and Agricultural College. This is a secondary school situated 16Kms outside Parys in isolated farmland in the northern part of the Free State, approximately 130Kms away from Johannesburg.
Weiveld is well disciplined and has good teachers. There are approximately 550 pupils, almost exclusively black. Most come from distressed backgrounds; many parents and siblings are unemployed and family resources are extremely limited. The picture shows some of the Interactors with the Principal Riaan Els.
One of their projects has been making sleeping bags for the street children in Parys. The picture shows 2 of the Interactors with Rotarians Murray McMillan and Prisca Van Wyk. Prisca is a teacher at Weiveld.
Our Interact club have attended the District Interact conference in Kimberley for the past 2 years. In 2017 we were awarded the prize for best up and coming Interact club in the District this year. The picture shows them receiving their prize of R200 (US$15, £11) which represents a days wages to a labourer in the township.
This trip also improved the Interactors’ awareness of the outside world as it was the first time many of them had travelled so far from home.
They cannot learn about the outside world from the internet. The cost of mobile data is prohibitive for both students and school. Until recently, the school could only afford internet access for administrative purposes only. A recent project has upgraded the school’s satellite wi-fi system and enabled internet access in one classroom. This will improve both the standard of teaching and the students understanding of the outside world.
Further contributions are being sought from overseas Rotary clubs to fund extending internet access to all classrooms. This requires an additional server and cabling.