Volunteers hop on the bus to make a difference

Helene Brand took time to read to pupils.

Fed up with sitting at home while others were in need of help , determined volunteers gave up their free time last Wednesday, May 16, to make a difference at Siyazingisa Primary School in Gugulethu.

The volunteers hopped on the Better SA Volunteer Bus, which has now launched in Cape Town, to be taken the school where they did repairs, painting and gardening.

The hop-on-hop-off mini-bus service is part of NPO Better SA’s aim to make volunteering easy.

Within a couple of minutes at the school, the energetic volunteers took it upon themselves to carry out the necessary work.

The school was chosen as the first Cape Town beneficiary by Better SA founder Roberta Donovan who had volunteered for years in Gugulethu with the Amy Biehl Foundation.

She had evaluated schools in the area to determine which needed immediate help.

The volunteers painted classrooms and murals. Eager to finish the day with something tangible, they also carried out some gardening at the school.

Ms Donovan said the innovative hop-on-hop-off mini-bus service gave people the opportunity to mingle with others and go to places they have never been.

“We want to make it easy for people to volunteer. We established the organisation for that reason in 2014 and we have gone from strength to strength.

“We started in Johannesburg and we did well. We have then been inundated with calls from Cape Town. That is why we are here to launch this service. This is to encourage people to be active citizens,” she said.

She said the only thing the volunteers needed to do was book their spot on the bus and arrive at the pick-up spot. The service is free and co-ordinated from start to finish so that volunteers can make the most impact in the time they have available.

MySchool, MyVillage, MyPlanet is sponsoring the inaugural Better SA Cape Town mini-bus, which will operate from Mupine Golf Club, Forest Drive Extension, and Old Mutual, Sports Field, Jan Smuts Drive, both in Pinelands, every Wednesday and Saturday, between 8am and noon.

School principal Noludwe Nonkonyana was delighted to have people tending to the problems at her school.

“Our library is now child- friendly. It will give children confidence and pride. This will woo many of them to the library. We are delighted and feel proud that we have been the first school to host Better SA,” she said.

Visit www.bettersa.org or email info@bettersa.org. for more information.