I became involved with Khensani Primary School about fifteen years ago, when a former pupil of mine suggested that it would be a great school to twin with as its Principal, Fannie Sebolela, was desperate to improve the quality of teaching and learning at his small (157 pupils), down trodden primary school in the Township of Soshanguve, South Africa.
The British Council gave us a grant for Fannie to come to study in Stockport for a month, to learn about our emerging curriculum and for me to go to Khensani for a month later in the year, under the umbrella of their North-South Links Programme. Both of us had to complete a lengthy written study at the end of each visit, showing proof that the relationship was sustainable, as well as speaking at British council events throughout the year. My main events were to huge audiences at the British Museum in London and at Cardiff University.
This was to be the start of a most wonderful partnership where I went over each year, initially to do some teacher training, and Fannie came to Tithe Barn to learn about the role of Governors and Policy Writing. He was also impressed that we had so many toilets for the pupils and that they all received school meals, ideas which he took back with him and eventually implemented. To hungry children living under a tarpaulin, the provision of a hot meal (usually thick vegetable soup from vegetables grown by parents in the school grounds and drunk from a tin mug) at lunch time was the best thing you could do for them.
I was not a member of Lamplighters at the time but the grand father of one of my pupils was Ernie Spencer. Through him and the International Committee, Lamplighters became very involved and for many years provided equipment for the school, for which I shall be eternally grateful.
A few years ago Lamplighters donated £750.00 which I took over with me for Literacy and Numeracy text books for the whole school’s new curriculum. I negotiated with their Literacy Co-ordinator and between us we got a fantastic deal at a wholesalers in Pretoria. I was delighted the other week to see that the children were still using the books even though they didn’t know I was going to visit. There is no doubt in my mind that the provision of these books at the beginning of their National Curriculum has enhanced the pupils learning and put their S.A.T. results way above those of every other township school in the Province of Guateng.
Fannie learnt so much through the partnership, as I did. My main realisation was that no matter how lowly a house you live in, your aspirations for your child are as great as those who live in middle class suburbia .
Things have improved tremendously in Soshanguve since Fannie first became Head of Khensani. Each child comes to school in a school uniform with black leather shoes (many provided last year by my Rotarian and other friends) and most are happy to be there. From small beginnings the school has grown to over 1,200 pupils with smaller class sizes than previous although I did witness one class with 62 pupils ! They are mainly about the 40 - 45 range. Pupils still stand up when an adult enters the room and remains standing until asked to sit down. They love to talk to me and the older ones are beginning to come to terms with the world around them and realise that the way out of poverty is through education. My aim now is to get the school to allow their pupils to take library books home with them, and encourage reading outside of school.
Fannie has since become Dr. Sebolela and two years ago was Head Hunted by a company who wanted to provide private education in the Township.
As well as being invited to the Graduation party for an ex pupil the purpose of my visit last month was to meet the new principal Themba who welcomed me and Brian very warmly. He knew about Lamplighters as well as Tithe Barn and was most appreciative of past help. Thankfully Khensani is still in safe hands.
So, it’s good to know that the money provided by Lamplighters to this most distant school in a far away land means that it continues to grow and flourish, and hopefully this will encourage people to acknowledge that many differing cultures can live happily side by side whilst learning from each other.
more We organised the first round of this annual public speaking competition back in February and were delighted when Green End Primary eventually went on to win the final .
more Two of our schools were entered into the District Final. We are delighted that Tithe Barn won first prize
more In September we sponsored a trip to Petty Pool outdoor centre at Sandiway for pupils of Westmorland Primary School. They took part in a variety of activities including the climbing wall and orienteering.
more Jason was at the Manchester Arena on the night of the bombing.
more Our annual Youth Speaks competition
more Local schools took part in our Art Competition
more Our annual speaking competition for Stockport primary schools
more The Princes Trust team, whom we have supported again this year, hand over their finished project.
more Our annual Youth Speaks competition, once again hosted by Tithe Barn School. We have six teams of year 10 and 11 pupils taking part this year.
more The Youth Committee have purchased a pool table for Werneth Young People's Centre. This is based in Bredbury, and provides advice and support for teenagers in the area.
more The Club have once again supported the Princes Trust, as they produce artwork for the Stockport Music Academy
more Primary Youth Speaks competition, held at Didsbury Road Primary School.
more Golf Day for Heaton Moor Golf Club junior section.
more Recently the Youth Committee have been working closely with the young people of the Prince's Trust.
more Club members took part in a Food Packing Event in Warrington.
more The club was represented at the recent Rotary International convention in Toronto . This was attended by over 25,000 rotarians from all over the world
more In March 2015, Carol and Brian Cross visited the home that we have supported in the past. They sent this note and photographs from there.
more Alan Brooks, a Rotarian from Hebden Bridge, talked to us recently about the Hope Community Village in India. We have supported this project with an Â£875 donation which we got matched with an Â£875 grant from District Rotary.
more Throughout this year our normal collection activities for charity have been severely curtailed and our normal Christmas cash collections were not possible .
more Details of four recent donations as part of our international work.
more There is a close relationship between the United Nations and Rotary , more details below.
more Milton spoke about the Charity Wheelchair Foundation and corruption in South Africa.
more A letter from South Africa.
more An Intercultural Learning Adventure for 7-11 year olds
more Cataract operations in India
more 47 patients receive cataract operations.
more Due to the current COVID 19 situation the usual Santa appearances at supermarkets and street tours were cancelled but children were able to talk to Santa using Zoom.
more Why not cheer up your friends and family by sending a message using one of these limited edition themed cards produced from paintings done by one of our members , all proceeds go to charity .
more One of the beneficiaries will be charities supported the Lamplighters Rotary Club. You are encouraged to exercise either outdoors or indoors , log your activities and make a donation.
more Â£10,000 raised!
more Our ukulele band played at Victoria Station.
more A special outing to Romiley with Santa and his sleigh
more Our annual Swimathon Challenge.
more The Eric Patton Memorial Trophy
more Laying a wreath at the Cenataph
more Looking back at the 2020 Virtual Open Gardens event. We hope to see you again face to face in 2021
more Our annual event for local people in need of a bit of Christmas cheer
more Our annual Swimathon Challenge
more Our annual charity golf day, in support of Prostate Cancer and The Stroke Association
more We have donated £3000.00 towards the running costs of Maggies.
more We enjoyed a good curry while raising money for the Club's charity account!
more We shared the evening meal with Muslims at their Mosque.
more Santa's collections are now finished for this year and raised £9500 for charity . Thank you for all your support during our street and supermarket collections.
more Details of our Float collection.
more Dining room makeover by a team of Lamplighters.
more Out fourth Heatons Open Gardens event.
more During this difficult time the need for charitable donations is greater than ever but our normal fundraiser events are impossible due to the very necessary social distancing requirements.
more President Clyde Raine and Rotarian Bob Jordan took part in the Stockport procession and wreath laying ceremony.
more Sunday 9th, 16th and 23rd September 2012. Walk, cycle or run and raise funds for YOUR charity.
more Our annual fund raising Swimathon.
more Our second open gardens day. www.heatonsopengardens.net
more We held our annual community party on Sunday 8th December. Here is a selection of photos . #PeopleOfAction
more The Ukulele band will be playing, amongst others, at the Woodley Arms tonight
more At Heaton Moor Golf Club. 19:30 start, and hotpot supper at half time.
more Our third annual open gardens event.
more Our annual carol concert and tea party, this year for local people with mental health issues.
more Our annual fundraising Swimathon Challenge, held at Stockport Grammar School.
more The story of five people from the Heatons who died.
more Charity Golf Competition
more 4 Heatons Voices - ‘Those 20 years’
more The Club was at the Heatons Festival. As well as some stewarding and marshalling, our fire prevention advisers were out in force, spreading the word about smoke alarms.
more Fashion Pageant, held on July 11th. 2013. (Click the blue title for details)
more Food in the years between the wars.
more Visit some of the best house gardens in the area. Further details at www.heatonsopengardens.net
more Held at St John's, Heaton Mersey
more Held at Stockport Grammar School. More details to follow.
more Donation of a steel pan for use by the band.
more At Walthew House
more Enjoy a good curry while raising funds for the Club.
more Our annual Carol Service and Old Folks party.
more Repeat of our regular curry fest.
more Trip along the canals for elderly residents.
more Charity Race Night for Club members and their guests.
more Ten-pin bowling for those with visual imparement.
more Its that time of the year again and our Christmas collections are well under way . If you still havn't seen him then Santa is looking forward to meeting you at one of the locations listed below.
more Our Home Safety Check team were presented with the Special Fire and Rescue Service Award at Stockport Town Hall
more We took a group on a trip along the canal.
more The latest in our series of canal boad trips with various groups in and arounf Stockport.
more The annual Carol Service, at St Johns.
more Our second charity golf tournament, once again at Heaton Moor Golf Club.
more Our annual Swimathon Challenge.
more Held at Norris Bank school, 4pm start.
more Carol Cross has been a regular visitor to Khensani School, in South Africa. The school recently produced a CD of the children singing, which can be seen on YouTube. Many thanks to Doug Cooper, in Cyprus, for production of the music and photo presentation.
more Our annual speaking competition for local schools. This year held at Tithe Barn School, with four schools taking part.
back This shows a selection of past events that do not appear on the public part of the site .