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Baphumelele Project gathered supplies, money for South African orphanage

Aisha Sowe

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Social Studies teacher Thomas Sneddon, along with career program students, participated in the Baphumelele Project and successfully raised $1,000 (11,000 South African Rand) for Mama Rosie’s orphanage, Baphumelele Children’s Home, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The project started around late November and finished in January. There were 15-20 gallons of materials that were left by the end of the fundraiser because it could not all be shipped to the orphanage due to the weight. “The stuff we collected almost filled up the social studies room,” Sneddon said.

Sneddon decided to help out when he and his wife took a trip to South Africa last summer. They visited the township of Khayelitsha, where the orphanage is located. “It was pretty emotional and it has definitely opened my eyes to some things,” Sneddon added. Sneddon’s wife works at Roberto Clemente Middle School where they are doing their own project.

Senior Katherine Campbell, who is part of the Child Development program, and her class took part in donations. They brainstormed categories for different items that they could donate. “I really liked sorting out the items to see how much was collected,” Campbell said. “Just to know that [people in need] are going to be using them just makes me happy.” 

Sneddon decided to donate the leftover materials to homeless shelters. The materials were donated to a homeless shelter in Downtown Frederick. He is also “thinking about donating the rest of the stuff to Gaithersburg and Germantown centers,” Sneddon added. 

Sneddon would like to thank all the people in the Personal and Professional Skills Program, social studies teacher Sandy Young and anyone else who donated items in need. “We [gave the orphanage] a lot of money,” Sneddon added.

Sneddon plans to conduct another round of donations, but also plans to rethink the way of donation due to the materials not being donated due to the weight. 

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Baphumelele Project gathered supplies, money for South African orphanage