homepage logo

Shepherdstown Rotary Club helps South African school

By Staff | Jul 22, 2016

The Rotary Club of Shepherdstown has teamed up with Ezekiel’s Place (a local nonprofit organization) and the Waterfront Rotary Club of Cape Town, South Africa, to help a South African school renovate a portion of its plumbing and sanitation system.

The school is the Atlantis Secondary School, located in the town of Atlantis, which is 56 kilometers north of Cape Town.

Home to some 68,000 people, Atlantis is an impoverished area that struggles with high unemployment, crime and drugs, especially among its young people.

Its Secondary School was built for 850 students but currently is bulging with 1,500. The school also frequently serves as a venue for community meetings and events.

Its plumbing and sanitation system has been urgently in need of renovation because of past neglect, misuse and vandalism.

The Waterfront Club stepped in to undertake this project as part of an ongoing effort it has mounted to accomplish similar renovations at a total of nine schools in Atlantis. The Club is working with its provincial government’s education office, the Western Cape Department of Education (WCED), on this effort.

As Rotary Clubs often do, the Waterfront Club has been seeking international partners to assist with its school-renovation effort.

Last December, it submitted a proposal to support the Atlantis School project to Richard Anson, of Shenandoah Junction, a former World Bank economist who is both a member of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club and the co-director of Ezekiel’s Place.

Discussions ensued and in January the Shepherdstown Rotary Club and Ezekiel’s Place entered into a formal agreement with the Waterfront Rotary Club to support the Atlantis project. The Shepherdstown Club and Ezekiel’s Place contributed $1,500 and $500, respectively, toward the project’s total cost.

The needed renovations have now been completed.

The headmaster of the Atlantis School, Mr. Charles Marthinusen, who has a reputation for being diligent, has taken the primary responsibility to ensure the adequate operation and maintenance of the renovations.

All those involved in the project hope it can serve as a positive example for the other Atlantis schools undergoing renovations, and also serve as a positive example of international partnerships.