South Africa friendship
The Diocese of York is twinned with three Dioceses in South Africa – the Dioceses of Cape Town, False Bay and Saldhana Bay. As a Church school Archbishop Holgate’s has fostered a great link with the Diocese of Cape Town. This started with a visit by two staff in 2004 and has continued with six subsequent visits by staff and students, the most recent in April 2016.
Project work this time included creating a new play area at an AIDS orphanage, teaching in a school, planting a vegetable garden and doing other work that that the school has partnered with over many years. This year the students took eleven extra suitcases full of donated items in addition to the large amount of things in their own luggage. This included over 300 World Book Day books, over 40 pairs of football boots, three sets of team strips, many blankets and other knitted items donated by the Unravel craft group from St Paul's Church, handmade dresses created by Archbishop Holgate's textiles students, 30 hand knitted teddy bears and a huge amount of second-hand clothing for babies and children. These were donated to a variety of groups from township football teams to an AIDS orphanage, a maternity hospital, a foster home and support groups for HIV suffers. It is estimated that the group took over 250 KG of donated items in the additional cases and in their own luggage.
The visits to Cape Town involve extensive community service and educational elements; as well as getting to know the people, culture and history of Cape Town. The latter is achieved through visits to churches, youth groups and through home stay. Our visit always has a threefold dimension to it. There is the educational element; visiting Robben Island and Table Mountain, as well as other places. There is the extensive community service element and finally there is element of engagement with local people through home stay with a local church and a school, attending youth events and working alongside the local people.
As a fruit of their on-going relationship with the Diocese of Cape Town the school has twice played host Capetonian students who came to study in the Sixth Form as part of a month long exchange. Archbishop Holgate’s students made reciprocal month long visits to the prestigious St Cyprian’s School in Cape Town. The school has also welcomed a group of Capetonian footballers and youth workers from the Diocese too. At present the school is working on their plans to visit with the next group of young people in 2018 and looking at welcoming a group from the Diocese of Cape Town in the future.
So successful is the schools link that our Chaplain is a member of the steering committee of the York Diocesan link group with Cape Town.