WREC Update: Imana Wild Ride goes high in 2017

Imana Wild Ride builds a high school
“Without education, our children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it’s important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country” Nelson Mandela.

The organiser’s of the Imana Wild Ride identified education as they key factor for making a difference to the lives of the people of Pondoland, specifically the region alongside the coastline through which the race route passes. The Imana Wild Ride celebrates eighteen year’s this year and over a decade of giving back to the peoples of this beautiful region through providing improved educational facilities.

Having donated over thirty classrooms to the region since 2006, most of which have been to junior secondary schools, event organisers are excited to announce their first high school build. After the success of teaming up with the Bulungula Incubator program last year and experiencing the competent management behind this amazing program, there was no hesitation from the organisers of the Imana Wild Ride to respond to their need for a high school facility in the Xhora Mouth Community.

The community of the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area, which is based in the Mbhashe municipality on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape, was found to be the poorest in the country according to the last Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) census. Using data from the surrounding schools in 2015, the Bulungula Incubator program found that approximately 95% of the learners from Xhora Mouth Administrative Area do not ever complete Grade 12. There is no functioning scholar transport from the area to any High School or College. Learners who would like to continue beyond Grade 9 have to rent accommodation away from their families and care for themselves, while still young and vulnerable teenagers.

Bulungula Incubator’s Director, Réjane Woodroffe says, “Young people in the area have no option but to drop out of school after Grade 9 since there is no Highschool at all. The Bulungula College will fill the gap in Education foundations and pave the way to sustainable and flourishing communities. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Imana Wild Ride and WREC [Wild Ride Education Company] in this transformative venture”

From a small event of only two hundred participants and a loyal sponsor in Imana Foods, to be able to build a high school is something of a remarkable achievement. Last year the first pre-school facility was donated to the Folokwe District as part of the Bulungula Incubator Program and is now fully operational. It is indeed rewarding for the Imana Wild Ride to now complete the full education cycle through to tertiary level with the build of this new high school, to be named the Bulungula College.

Event organiser, Steve Stamp, commented as follows; “It has been a humbling experience to be part of the journey the Imana Wild Ride has travelled for the past eighteen years. The response to our goal of organising an event that would make contribution to local communities has been phenomenal.  At the 2016 event, I outlined the dream of being able to complete the full education cycle so needed by the Xhora community.  To now be able to deliver on a dream with the soon to be opened Bulungula College exceeds our wildest expectations; giving hope to so many in more ways than purely education.  It benchmarks what can be achieved when the relatively small field of the Imana Wild Ride stand together and re-invest into the future of our country. To our sponsors, Imana Foods, the many private and corporate donors and the participants, a sincere thank you.”

The building will be done by Elangeni Buildings, who provide pre-cast buildings in record time. From the site visit to sign off in little over a month. Being a bigger project, the Bulungula College is expected to be complete by early September and the official opening will take place shortly thereafter, allowing the College to become operational from the end of the year and ready for the new intake of scholars in 2018.

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