Groot Constantia lends a hand

Mikayle with her dad Hansie Warries on Groot Constantia wine estate.

Groot Constantia is helping an organisation provide academic and extra-mural support to the children of farm- workers.

Anna Brom was working as a volunteer remedial teacher at two schools in Mpumalanga – one on a farm and one in a township – in 2005, when she started the Anna Foundation to meet the educational and social needs of rural children.

Now her non-profit runs a programme for 18 children in a farm building on the slopes of the wine estate.

GrootConstantia became involved with the Anna Foundation in April, providing a venue and paying teachers’ salaries and enrolment fees for the children.

“These children are the future. We need to widen the horizon for us all to have a better future,” said Groot Constantia CEO, Jean Naude.

The children were busy with arts and crafts – making bees, bugs and butterflies from painted rocks and pipe cleaners – when the Bulletin visited the foundation’s after-care facility at the wine estate last week.

Carol Sampson, the foundation’s senior project manager, said the arts and crafts workshop was part of a “3 Rs” programme. In this case, 3 Rs stands for reading, running and right-ing, with the latter referring to “right living”.

Theprogramme runs five days a week afterschooland includes sport, life skills, literacy, numeracy and computer training and is designed by education specialists.

The children from Grade R to Grade 3 attend Constantia Primary and schools in Steenberg and Grassy Park.

Groot Constantia’s cellar foreman for 32 years, Hansie Warries, is father to Mikayle, 12, who is part of the programme.

Mr Warries said Mikayle’s grades had gone from Cs to As since she had joined the programme.

“These children are blooming. The Anna Foundation is the best thing to happen to them. They’ve not only gained academically but also in confidence,” he said.

Mr Warries is also the chairman of Constantia Primary School’s governing body, and he said he had noticed that the programme had helped the farm children mix more easily with other children at school.

Mr Warries is studying winemaking and hopes to become an assistant winemaker one day.

Honey Arendse, who manages the farm creche, said children who had been struggling with reading had also benefited from the Anna Foundation programme.

Ms Brom said they wanted to encourage life-long learning in children and help them develop self-worth and self-respect.

On Fridays, the Anna Foundation organises volunteers to run fun activities for the children,

including arts and crafts, music appreciation and more.

For further information, about the Anna Foundation call 021 885 1922 or email info@annafoundation.com