All Scouting-in-School (SiS) intern Krista Hendrickse wanted for her 23rd birthday was the chance to hand out much needed PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to the learners she serves at the Bloekombos Primary School in Kraaifontein. So to make her wish come true, she started a fundraising initiative amidst her family and friends.
“My biggest dream is to be a nurse. Before I joined the Western Cape Scouting-in-Schools programme I had worked for an NGO in Durbanville and volunteered at my church. My eyes were opened to the fact that a lot of people can’t afford basic needs, let alone PPE”, explains Krista. “So upon hearing that my grade 7 learners would be returning to school on the 8th of June, I knew that the only thing I wanted for my birthday on the 5th of June, were funds to buy sanitizer and masks for the kids. I sent a message to all my family members and friends and posted a message on Facebook. The response was amazing! Over the past weeks I have been able to hand out 180 bottles of hand sanitizer and 15 masks! I’m so grateful to all who helped me. It was only when the kids started thanking me that I realised the true significance of this project. Children were thanking me for helping them. When one of my Scouts asked me why they got a mask and others didn’t, I simply told them, because you are a Scout. I wish I had enough masks for all of the learners, but at least I was able to keep some of my Scouts safe. It was really so emotional for me to be thanked by these children for something so small – yet so big!”
It was only when the kids started thanking me that I realised the true significance of this project.
Krista lives in Brackenfell with her mom and older brother. She joined 1st North Pine Scout Group when she was a teenager after noticing how much fun her brother was experiencing. “I loved being a Scout. We did lots of fun things and I got so much support and mentorship from my Scouter aunty Nicole Jaftha. Last year I applied to study nursing and was declined. I didn’t want to sit at home, I wanted to grow as a person and help people. When the opportunity came up to join the SiS programme I jumped at the chance. I have loved it, truly! I have been able to interact with people from different areas, have learnt so many new skills and have been given a platform and an opportunity to give back to people in need. We also have a great leader and mentor in Mr Ahmad Solomon. Some of the children here at my school really don’t have anything. Scouting has given me the chance to do something good.
Scouting has given me the chance to do something good.
Now that our programmes are on hold because of Covid-19 us interns are helping with the school management and teachers. I am assigned to the Health and Safety Officer and teachers. I assist in making sure that the Grade 7’s know what Covid-19 is and how to protect themselves and others. I also help with screening and check that the learners are social distancing. With some of my birthday funds I also printed posters which I have hung up around the school, and I did a presentation to all the Grade 7’s. I was really nervous to do the presentation, but I’m proud of myself that I succeeded.
I have now just re-applied to nursing colleges and really hope I will be accepted this time around. My mom is a nurse and I have done my research on what type of person you need to be and what nursing stands for. I believe that being a Scouting intern has really helped me on my journey to become the best nurse I can be. I’ve learnt to understand people more and have become a better and more empathetic version of myself.”
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