SINCE the inception of the Port Alfred High School Interact Club a few years ago under the mentorship of Mike Millard, the group of pupils has raised the bar on community service and engagement in the Port Alfred area.
Interact and Earlyact are both under the umbrella of Rotary, have adopted a mandate like Rotary, but tailored to their means and abilities. Last week Wednesday, PAHS Interact outgoing president, Inga Mpepanduku, gave an overview of the projects initiated by the board and members of 2016.
Adam Nolte acted as master of ceremonies and welcomed the room filled with community stakeholders, the principal of PAHS, Clive Pearson, and new Interact members.
Mpepanduku reflected on her tenure and shared some of the successes PAHS Interact enjoyed last year. More than 2 000 litres of water was collected for the drought areas, and saw pupils from the entire school get involved. Grocery items were collected for the Catholic Church drive while the grannies and grandpas at Damant Lodge enjoyed a rendition of the My Fair Lady, performed by the school earlier the year, as well as a mother day and father’s day visit.
Interacters were involved at the Bathurst Show and helped Kenrich Motors secure the prize for best double door stand and best motor vehicle stand. On behalf of Kenrich, Richard Axe bequeathed a generous donation to the club.
Over and above this the Interacters also collected food for anti-rhino poachers at Amakhala Game Reserve in Grahamstown. Interact also took the opportunity on Environmental Day to clean up the school garden, and conducted the puzzle project which collected R20 000 in aid of the school fire refurbishment fund.
With the assistance of the Hamburg Rotary Fund, Interact members handed over washable pads to Shawpark Primary which, has since the project has had a 60% improvement in absenteeism. Interacters were involved in many more projects, always actively interacting and engaging with the community, for the community.
Mentor and Rotarian, Mike Millard commended the young adults on their maturity and sensitivity in all their encounters.
“I don’t think Interacters realise what a difference they make in our community,” said Millard.
“Project Dignity helped 60 young girls at Shawpark Primary for four years,” said Millard
Millard reaffirmed the value of being involved with a club of this nature and highlighted that PAHS head girls and boys, as well as 12 of 14 of last year’s prefects were all from the Interact Club.
Mpepanduku handed over the president’s badge to incoming president Britney Hawkins who introduced her new board and welcomed new and old members.
Hawkins said she was excited and looked forward to the year ahead. One of her aims is to merge the Earlyact and Interact Clubs and have the younger pupils more involved in projects.
While project planning is still in motion, Hawkins said she and her board will continue the dignity project and assist five schools this year.
“I look forward to working with you all this year,” she said.
“I hope we have fun”.
“Thank you Interacters for all you have do, and thank you to the community who supports Interact,” said Pearson.
“Interact will allow you to interact with people you never met before and help you launch them to greater heights. Thank you Mike Millard for all you have done and the attention to detail for the leadership role”.
The Appreciation of helpfulness was given to Nolte and Tatum Pretorius for their individual roles in projects the past year.