Cameron Nel recently approached Groot Constantia to assist with barrels and bins to plant trees. He was on a mission to improve the grounds of Hout Bay High School. The outdoor amphitheater where the learners gather was completely paved and offered no shade.
The idea of planting roots and growing a legacy resonated strongly with the management team but the barrels and bins used at Groot Constantia were not well-suited for this new purpose. Instead, the craftsmen at Groot Constantia built specially designed bins from treated timber that would retain the soil better and last longer than repurposed barrels would.
Ten of these bins were delivered to Hout Bay High School where the learners and teachers had gathered. Marketing Manager for Groot Constantia, Grant Newton, addressed the learners and explained that the 300-year-old wine estate operates as a non-profit organisation and community involvement plays an important role. Learners then helped unload the bins with great excitement before presenting Grant Newton with a special plaque to commemorate the moment.
HBHS Principal, Juan Julius, stressed the need for the High School to uplift the children within their community. “We can only mould them on this piece of land,” he said. “They are my children. I need to nurture them.” Fortunately for him there are individuals like Jan-Len van Wyk—the teacher whose vision it was to create a better space for his learners—and Cameron Nel who are willing to help create a positive environment for him, his teachers and their learners to do just that.
This initiative is sure to be a success; the school has been recognised as the Greenest School in Hout Bay in the Thrive Enviro Audit/Award for four years. The learners have also benefited from participating in the EduPlant Programme and they now sell vegetables and herbs to local businesses. We look forward to visiting Hout Bay High School again to see how the trees are flourishing.