St. Paul School photoPlayground funded by Oregon school children gets enjoyed in Brakpan, South Africa.
St. Paul School photo
Playground funded by Oregon school children gets enjoyed in Brakpan, South Africa.
EUGENE — Every year, in correlation with their studies about Africa, the seventh grade class at St. Paul School here raises funds to benefit a group in need.

This past year the class chose to support the Sithand’izingane Care Project, located in Brakpan Area, South Africa. The care project was started in 2000 by a group of women from St. Paul  Church in Tsakane and the St. Martin de Porres Church in Geluksdal to bring relief to families affected by HIV/AIDS.

Now, the Oregon students  are seeing the fruit of their generosity. Sithand’izingane Care Project was able to purchase new playground equipment for children participating in the program.

The Oregon students held bake sales, tended lemonade stands, babysat and organized garage sales to gather donations. Each student was charged with raising a portion of the money over the course of the year. In the end, the class collectively raised more than $3,000, which provided more than 300 children a safe, fun place to play.

“It was really good to see how we can make a difference in the world and change someone’s life for the better,” says Amanda Allender, a St. Paul eighth grader.

Not only did the project help children and families in Brakpan, but it also helped students in Eugene recognize the many blessings in their lives.

“It is neat because we are growing up where we don’t know what it's like not to have clean water or things like that. Now we know what poverty is after doing this project,” says eighth grader Connor Fitzpatrick.

The greater Brakpan area is currently struggling through the AIDS pandemic, high unemployment rates, lack of proper housing and low food supplies. The eighth graders at St. Paul School in Oregon felt moved that their efforts could reach children and families on the other side of the world. St. Paul eighth grader Reece Canizares says: “This project opens up your mind to what you really can do for others.”