Service is at the heart of St David’s, and nowhere is this better embodied than in our outreach programme.
The intention behind our outreach programme is to expose our boys to the world beyond our St David’s gates and to instil in them an understanding of the socio-economic realities of those in far less fortunate circumstances than themselves. We challenge our boys to use their positions to make a difference in the lives of people and communities, not just in providing physical short-term relief but through actively working to be change-makers at a systemic and societal level.
In encouraging a mentality and heart for servant leadership, there is an expectation of our boys to use their education, values and training to impact society positively when they are in positions of leadership and influence, both as Marist boys and as Marist alumni.
We partner with Community Hours, a platform that enables each boy at St David’s to find and choose from a vast array of outreach projects in which to become involved, as well as record the hours that they spend working on that project. While the emphasis is on impact and not quantity of hours, the boys are expected to complete a certain number of hours of community service in order to qualify for Service awards and colours, as well as to fulfil the criteria for such initiatives as the President’s Award, in which many of the boys participate.
Our Grade 11 boys work with Habitat for Humanity to build houses, with a portion of the funds being raised by the annual Courage campout, which exposes the boys to the reality of being homeless and having to sleep outdoors. The building experience is a humbling and rewarding opportunity for the boys, it being a very tangible opportunity to impact the life of a family by providing not just shelter and safety, but also the dignity of having a home.
Grades 8 and 9 pupils dedicate time on a weekly basis to making sandwiches for an organisation called Fight with Insight, an inner-city gym that provides a safe exercise environment for children who may not have access to adequate facilities at their schools.
We also support various soup kitchens in underprivileged communities, with pupils getting the opportunity to interact with the beneficiaries.
For many years, Mayford Seeds has donated seedlings for pupils to nurture over the holidays leading up to Mandela Day on 18 July, and pass on to communities that benefit for years to come.
Our outreach projects are 90% focused on people, but there are also opportunities for boys who would like to work with animals.
Other programmes and initiates that our boys are involved in include:
- Marist Mercy Care
- Clothes-to-Good and Rise against Hunger
- SANBS Blood drives
- CANSA Shavathon