Arty fun for Retreat schoolgirls

Youth in Transformation staff, from left, Ethan Jonker, Lia Mudini and Jessica Stanier with Thomas Wildschutt pupils at the arts and crafts cafe in Harfield Village.

Schoolgirls from Thomas Wildschutt Primary School in Retreat were treated to an outing at an arts-and-crafts cafe in Harfield Village last Friday.

The outing was organised by Youth in Transformation, a Plumstead non-profit organisation, which runs a support programme at the school.

The 13 pupils from Grade R to Grade 2 had lunch and took part in activities such as drawing and making soap – all courtesy of the cafe.

Youth in Transformation’s project manager, Jessica Stanier, said the outing was part of the organisation’s Butterfly Project at the school.

“The Butterfly Project is an after-school program that we do with the girls on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where we assist them with their reading and numeracy, and the aim of the project is to keep girls in school.

“Every term, we take the pupils out as part of an after-school programme, and these programmes introduce them to different skills that help with life skills and basic literacy and numeracy skills.”

Their other activities with the girls include hiking and beach trips.

“We do these trips to expose them to all the amazing things in the city,” said Ms Stanier.

She added: “We have opted to focus on girls because we felt that with all the issues in our communities, we wanted to raise girls that were confident and resilient and equipped with the skills to be change-makers.”

Thomas Wildschutt Primary School principal Debbie Africa said the organisation had helped the girls become more confident. “We have seen improvement in their language and mathematics as well.“

Youth in Action also sponsors some of the girls’ school fees and gives emotional support to their parents and guardians.

Visit or email for more information about the organisation.

Youth in Transformation project manager Jessica Stanier assists Thomas Wildschutt pupils, from left, Suzanne Arendse, Taylan Lawrence and Emily-Rose Lategan with their drawings.
Marcia Matemere helps Shiloh Africa, Kei-Lee Steenkamp and Miley Dzenge make soap.