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IB Career Program Students conduct drive to benefit Mama Rosie Orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa

Jessica Cruz

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Rosie Mashale made it her job to help abandoned kids in South Africa, many of whom are infected with HIV and AIDS, have a second chance at life.

Social Studies teacher Thomas Sneddon met Mama Rosie (Rosie Mashale) when he was in South Africa for a teachers convention. Sneddon and his wife decided to visit a township in Cape Town where Mama Rosie’s orphanage was. He quickly realized that Moma Rosie’s organization needed a lot of help. Sneddon and his wife left but Moma Rosie and her kids left a lasting impact, the Sneddon’s knew they had do something.

He asked students to donate anything they could such as school supplies, clothing, first-aid products, baby products, etc. All around the school, there are location set-ups where you can donate any available supplies, such as at the main office. 

“If you’re not using items anymore might as well give them to someone who needs them,” said senior Selom Kalin-Samlan. “I love this project. I’ve never been a part of something like this, we take a lot for granted,” he added.

International Baccalaureate careers students took this goal a step farther by making it their service learning project for IB. They plan on conducting two drives by the end of the school year, one taking place now and lasting to the end of the week and another one around spring break. They also set up a fundraiser with &pizza which took place this Monday from 6-8pm. After each drive, Sneddon plans on shipping the items to the Baphumelele orphanage.

“I thought this was very interesting, I was surprised to hear [Mama Rosie] was on the CNN hero of the year, that was very cool,” said senior Sabrina Santamaria.

Mama Rosie started her organization by accident when an infant was left at her door one day. The people of the township found out that she was helping orphans and many started leaving children at her house. She takes in kids of every age from newborn infants to teenagers. She takes care of them until they are 18 and ready to be on their own.

She went on to build small multiple houses for children, a hospital, mess hall, and classrooms. Currently she is a finalist in the CNN Heroes Contest. “I have met very few people in my life as selfless and loving as Mama Rosie. I met her for 5 minutes, and I love her like I’d love a grandmother,” said Sneddon.

Rosie gives abandoned kids a second chance at life. Without her organization many of these kids would be dead or left to die. She gets very little funding and support from the South African government. Her organization is mainly run off of donations, and they need your help to continue.

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The student news site of Watkins Mill High School
IB Career Program Students conduct drive to benefit Mama Rosie Orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa