Wesbank, changed by the Recycle Swop Shop

Community volunteers

Community volunteers

We’ve had a great year at Wesbank No. 1 Primary school where we have been running the Recycle Swop Shop since March 2013. Our partnership with the school and the Head Master Mr Greg Gordon have been amazing, also our team of project leaders from TMF, Save All and Recycle 1st have insured this project has been a success.

Effects on the community
A small smile, a big step!
There is a little boy, Maxwell; he is eight years old but sadly has the body of a 4 year old. He regularly comes with his recycling to swop shop and on the 4th of December, the last day of Swop Shop, he brought his parents to meet us and for the first time we saw him smile!! 🙂 It was a very proud smile! We are so touched by the children and community at Wesbank No.1 primary school and we continue to see how their lives are being changed.

We’re seeing an increase in the amount of plastic being collected and the learners and community are enthusiastic and understand the general workings of this project. We are seeing an increasing amount of older folk attending swop shop and this is certainly encouraging in terms of educating the younger members of the family and also in terms of providing for the needs of the older generation.

The learners make up the majority of the participants at Swop Shop and at our last collection day there were over 250 children! There is a real social buzz at swop shop in Wesbank and it’s wonderful to see the ladies meeting each other and discussing not only recycling issues but also their home groups and get togethers. One lady made a comment that Wesbank has never been so clean. That’s so great to hear!


Lollypops given to all!

Thank you to Brenda Evans and Sybil Vermeulen, who generously donated 1000 lolly pops to hand out to the children attending the Recycle Swop Shop at Wesbank no 1 primary school and Inkwenkwezi secondary school.

The total recyclables collected from March to November 2013:

Description Sum of Quantity (Kgs)
White Paper 1670
Cardboard 3763
Newspaper and Mags 3120
Tetrapak + common Mix 337
PET 5761
HD (2) 454.5
Polyprop 385
Soft Plastic 787
Tops 311
Mixed Plastic 173
Tins 817
Glass 40
Grand Total 17,618.5

Provided by Recycle 1st

Teacher & staff lunch at Inkwenkwezi, Du noon.

Goodie bags!!

The teacher and staff were thrilled with their goodie bags!

What a wonderful morning we all had yesterday! Beyond Education loves to bring upliftment and change to our schools and we were able to make a difference to these hard working Teachers and Staff at Inkwenkwezi secondary school in Du noon by treating them to lunch, refreshments and goodie bags. The school was further treated to Kalahari.com book vouchers for the school library and thanks to Columbus Chemicals generous donation, we were able to give 75L of liquid hand soap.

Maria's information and sharing presentation

Maria's presentation on the Recycle Swop Shop

The morning started with a short presentation given by Maria van der Westhuizen about the Recycle Swop Shop. Maria shared progress and statistics from 2013, exciting plans for 2014 and tips on how the teacher’s can participate & get involvement with this project.

Louise presenting the photo collage of Recycle Swop Shop 2013

Louise presenting the photo collage of Recycle Swop Shop 2013



Louise Vonofakidis presented the school with a beautiful collage of some photos taken at Recycle Swop Shop during the year. Thank you to Danielle Vonofakidis for her lovely art work.

Mr Kutu and Seti, TLO

Mr Kutu and Seti, TLO



It was all smiles and applauds from the Teachers and Head Master, when the liquid soap from Columbus Chemicals, was given to the school. Thank you to Columbus Chemicals for their generous donations and support of our project.

Kalahari.com book vouchers

Kalahari.com book vouchers for the school library from Beyond Education

Maria van der Westhuizen presented Mr Kuku with the library book vouchers from Beyond Education. This was received very gratefully and another huge applause broke out among the teachers and staff.


Mr Kutu, Head Master

Mr Kutu, Head Master thanking Beyond Education

Mr Kutu thanked Maria and Louise for their hard work and for the partnership with Beyond Education. He encouraged this staff to get involved and embrace the project.

Woolworths bags

Goodie Bags

50 goodie bags were then given to all the teachers and staff at Inkwenkwezi secondary school. Thank you to Woolworths, City of Cape Town, Community Chest and De Fayebosch for their generous donations. Everyone was very excited and thrilled!

De Fayebosch platters, yummy lunch!

De Fayebosch platters, yummy lunch!

Thank you to Welma, De Fayebosch for the delicious platters and lavender bags. The teachers and staff finally tucked into their lunch and really enjoyed it!

In the media with Inkewenkwezi Recycle Swop Shop

Table Talk

We’ve loved all the articles that have been written about the Recycle Swop Shop at Inkwenkwezi Secondary School, Du noon and we wanted to say a special Thank you to our supports in the media.

Read these articles to learn more about this project. The Green Times

Success at Inkwenkwezi in Du noon!!

Proud lady!

This lady brought 26 bags of plastic and was given 78 tokens! Well done!

The Recycle Swop Shop at Inkwenkwezi Secondary School in Du Noon has been runner for 6 weeks and we have been so impressed by how quickly the community of Du Noon have returned.

We opened up in our new location at Inkwenkwezi Secondary School after being closed for 8 months. Mr Kutu, the Head Master and the teachers have so supportive towards our project and the learners are slowly attending and with the help of our Waste Awareness Assemblies, we are hoping to increase their participation. We questioned a few of the learners and they tell us their mother’s are attend and bring the recycling.

A huge thank you to one of our main sponsors Africa Floor Care! They also provide us with washing up liquid, bleach, handy cleaners and disinfectant that our ladies at Swop Shop love!

Here are the stats for 10th September to 22nd October 2013:
Total Recyclables collected in Weight: 3770kg
Total number of days : 6
Total number of participants : 443
Total number of token handed out : 7966
That’s an average of 1 person = 9kg = 18 tokens

Its been lovely seeing our regular ladies again and catching up on the past 8 months. Babies have been born, some ladies are expecting and toddlers have started creche.

Soninke Combrinck, an Intern from The Green Times visited us yesterday. Thank you for visiting Soninke, and we look forward to reading your article and seeing all your photos.

Swop Shop

Ladies swapping at the Recycle Swop Shop Du Noon

If you would like to make any donations to the Recycle Swop Shop, please read our Donations Policy Document.

Launch at Inkwenkwezi Secondary School Du noon

Recycle swop shop launch

Maria introducing the Recycling Swop Shop to the Learners.

It was a proud and happy morning on the 9th August 2013 at Inkwenkwezi Secondary School, Du noon! The Recycle Swop Shop team, Maria van der Westhuizen and Louise Vonafakidis met with Gareth Bains from ACSA, Pauline de Klerk from Partners for Possibility, Noluvuyo Mancunga and her team from the City of Cape Town and two of Beyond Education’s Board Members, Riaan van der Weshuizen and Japie Swanepoel.

Oliveria and Charmaine from the Drame School in Cape Town

Oliveria and Charmaine from the Drame School in Cape Town

There was much excitement as the 1100 learners filled the outside quad area and queued in their class lines. Their Headmaster Mr Kutu introduced his guests to the learners and teachers and handed over to the City of Cape Town. We were amused and entertained by Oliveria and Charmaine from the Drama School in Cape Town, with their 15 minute skit on recycling. So cool! And so funny! Thank you lady’s!! Finally the recycling collection and Swop Shop was explained to the learners by Maria, and a few questions were thrown out there with tokens and chocolates given to the learners who gave answers.

Now a little needs to be said about Mr Kutu, whom I admired for his forward thinking and commitment to his students, their education and this community. Thank you to this wonderful man and leader of Inkwenkwzei Secondary School, who has taken the time out to consider the environment and the upliftment of local families.

Mr Kutu, Maria and Pauline de klerk

The Head Master, Mr Kutu, Maria van der Westhuizen and Pauline de Klerk

Thank you to all those that attended and especially to our sponsors ACSA. A treat of crunches, chocolate brownies and refreshments where given by Beyond Education to the teachers and staff to enjoy during their break.

Thank you so much to Elkanah House, Elkanah Recycling Committee and Parklands College for their support of our project!

If you want to find out more about the Swop Shop please:
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If you would like to make any donations to the Recycle Swop Shop, please read our Donations Policy Document.

My thoughts after attending Venture 4th by Heather Cowan

Group photo

Some of our Venture 4th group 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed the Venture 4th entrepreneurial programme. From day one I was impressed by the friendly and positive outlook of all the facilitators. Everything was very well organised from the evening meals to the guest speakers as well as the theory and practical sessions held each evening.

I looked forward to hearing each guest speaker and was surprised how much knowledge and inspiration they could pack together in just 10 minutes! Each guest speaker had something new to offer since they all ran different businesses and had a new story to tell. I learnt that to have a business you must have a vision and be intentional. Your business must provide a need or want and working with the right people with the right skills is important as well as smart money management! Lastly don’t be a subsistent thinker i.e. just getting by, challenge yourself to be a visionary thinker – seeing, preparing and embracing the future.

We were also fortunate to have an entrepreneur with multiple successful businesses leading the programme and teaching the importance of developing and refining your business plan on a continuous basis. Other subjects covered were:

– Entrepreneurship, the common mistakes entrepreneurs make and how to avoid these
– The opportunity – how to identify opportunities and evaluate your ideas
– The marketing plan – what product, price, place and promotions
– The HR plan – employees pay and benefits, skills development and risk management
– The Financial plan – most important
– The Startup plan – everything to know before you start the business

The programme was so memorable because of the people who you could see were doing this to help empower others, honouring God with their skills and time. Oh and of course coffee with biscuits was great!

Venture 4th exceeded my expectations and although doing this programme does not mean you can become a successful entrepreneur overnight, what it does do is inform and motivate you to know that it is possible to ‘think beyond a job and create your own’.

By Heather Cowan

An amazing response from a school that cares!

Elkanah House Recycling

Recycling at Elkanah House

We’re about to launch a Recycle Swop Shop back in Du noon at a new location, Inkwenkwezi Secondary School and have partnered with Elkanah Recycling Committee, Partners for Possibly and our sponsors Cape Town International Airport.

Our first day is on the 10th of September and incredibly we’ve already received over 16 bags of second hand clothes, shoes, toys, household items and books. What a great start! The success of this project relies heavily on the 2nd hand or ‘newly new‘ items that are donated as these items are a valuable commodity in the townships and the children and community view this as an excellent swap for their hard labour.

I have to say that I’ve been blown away by the generosity and commitment from the staff, parents and children from Elkanah House toward our Recycle Swop Shop project in Du noon. I just want to say ‘Well done” to everyone evolved.

Elkanah House also have a recycling collection day where the pupils are encouraged to bring recycling to the schools and they have channeled the funds into a number of projects within the school such as: Worm Bins, Water Coolers, A sensory garden at Sunningdale Prep campus and smart, user-friendly new bin-banks around the schools. They also have a stand at the Schoolyard Market providing information and awareness around Eco-friendly living promoting various ‘green’ products. Recycling at Elkanah House.

They have to date collected : 526 455kg Wow! That’s a lot of recycling and really just goes to show how committed and enthused the pupils and parents are. I’m impressed!

If you would like to drop off your 2nd hand items at Elkanah House, if your child attends the school or not, you are welcome to do so at one of the following points (please place your items in a clear bag or clearly marked “Du noon Recycle Swop Shop’):
Please read our Donations Policy Document.

MONDAYS Blouberg Campus, 15 Sail Street, Bloubergsands 7.30 to 8.30 am
TUESDAYS Sunningdale Campuses, 24 & 26 Valderrama Drive, Sunningdale 7.00 to 8.30 am
WEDNESDAYS High School, 85 Sunningdale Drive, Sunningdale 7.00 to 8:30 am

We are especially looking for high school aged clothing and shoes, but any item you donate will be greatly appreciated Thank you!

Recycle Swop Shop Wesbank – August 2013

Westbank No. 1 Primary school

Westbank No. 1 Primary school Recycle Collection day

I think you will all agree that August was a really wet and cold month in Cape Town. With the down pours came the floods and the cold weather bought snow on our surrounding mountains.

At Recycle Swop Shop our team of committed troopers continued to work and collect the recycling at Wesbank No. 1 Primary School. Well done to them all pupils and community members for coming out and being part of this hand-up not hand-out project.

Thank you to Veronica Martelo Beistegui, our Spanish Intern/Volunteer, who took these lovely photos during her numerous visits. I hope these will give you a good sense of the day and the people that participated.

The total recyclable collected in August:

Description Sum of Quantity (Kgs)
White Paper 67
Cardboard 192
Newspaper and Mags 258
Tetrapak + common Mix 35
PET 468
HD (2) 30
Polyprop 33
Soft Plastic 74
Tops 22
Tins 141
Grand Total 1320

Provided by Recycle 1st

Venture 4th 2013

Certificates venture 4th

Our students were so pleased to get their certificates!

We would firstly like to say ‘Well Done” to all our students!

A big thank you to Johannes Stiefel for putting so much time and effort into writing the handbook for Venture 4th and for your expertise and knowledge. Thank you to Veronica Martelo who came to spend her summer holiday in South Africa as an Intern on this project. She presented the practical sessions with confidence and in a way that was fun and interesting. A huge thank you to each of our guest speakers for their time and expertise. Thank you to Elkanah House for providing the venue and Parklands College for sponsoring 2 students.

Our guest speakers were Richard Lindes, Jita Ndabazovuyo, Gabe Phillips, Japie Swanepoel, Angie Young. Maria van der Westhuizen, Richard Sharp and Malcolm Herbert.

Program duration: 8 sessions over 5 weeks
Dates: Tuesday and Thursday from the 30 July to 27 August 2013 from 18:00 to 20:00
Location: Elkanah House High School – Afrikaans classroom
Session Topics: Introduction, The Business Plan, The Entrepreneur, The Business Opportunity, The Marketing Plan, The HR Plan, The Operational Plan, The Financial Plan and The Start-up Plan.
Handbook: 108 pages containing the 8 session notes, Exercises and Business Plan.

On the 1st night 13 students participated, and attendance fluctuated from 9 to 11 over the duration of the program. A typical session consisted of a meal that was served between 18:00 and 18:25, in the Café area, before the start of each session. At 18:30 there was a brief introduction followed by a 10-minute session presented by one of our guest speakers on a given topic or just their story. At 18.40 Johannes would present, from the handbook, the evening session followed by a 15-minute tea break. At 19:45 Veronica would present the practical session and work together with the students until 20:30.

One the last night we presented each student with a certificate and asked him or her to comment on the programme. Here are some of those comments;

“After doing this course Ï feel like a different person when I walk down the street.” Mhlangabezi Mdludlu
“I’d like to thank each of the guest speakers for sharing their stories; we learnt so much from each one of them.” Heather Cowan
“I’ve been amazed by the information I’ve learnt on this course, as I thought I’d have to go to college to learn this, but I think I learnt more here and it was for free!” Tembakazi Sidumo

Music in Me – The start of term 3

A group of song writers.

What a privilege it is to have an opportunity, through music (primarily Hip-Hop these days) to share my life with the students of Bloubergrant High through our shared enjoyment of music and creativity . June 2013 marks the completion of 4 years of the Beyond Ed/ Outloud Music collaborative project,Music In Me” at the school and the beginning of our 5th – what an amazing reality! It seems as if it was just the other day that I met with 20 interested students in the hall. Those 20 dwindled to a regular 6 girls in a matter of weeks (who were the stalwarts of the first 2 years). Our first (half) year in 2009, saw us producing about 6 songs together, including the BRHS School Song.

4 years later, meeting every Thursday from 3pm until about 6:30pm, it is now mainly boys in the studio (although the girls do make a show every now and then – sometimes on the mic, but often just to support the boys). The half-year so far has produced no less than 53 songs! Rap Titles such as “My Time”, “Put it on for my City”, “Up in Flames”, “All Night”, “Holla at ya Boi”; Rapper names like Illmatic, M.T.O (Myster the Omen), Killaboy, Young King, T-Man and Rap Crews like New Generation and New Life, are all part of this vibrant, growing culture. I am beginning to make sense of the lightning fast rap lyrics garnished with “haters” and “swag” and “shout-outs” and “cyphers”. The students are creating their own beats, downloading beats, writing lyrics and rapping while reading them off their cell phones. While one person is at the mic recording, it is common to see a number of others sitting, earphones in, rapping silently to the beat in their head (with hand gestures), or pacing up and down, earphones in, rapping silently to the beat in their head (with full body gestures). It has also been interesting to work with some new genres such as Spoken Word Poetry and a smattering of Deep House.

This term has also seen some brand-new rappers stepping forward – boys I have never met, yet who come loaded with enthusiasm. It is wonderful to see how the more established guys support and encourage them – there really does seem to be camaraderie between them, as if rap is their universal language. It is my privilege to coach these newcomers in mic technique and vocal control, gently supporting their efforts in the hope of seeing their confidence grow (some who arrive with this pre-installed, but a desperate need to grow their skills!)

A Malawian friend has at times been able to accompany me and is learning the ropes of making a good recording. He has a good ear, an aptitude for working with the equipment and a confidence to tell the students what they could do to improve their raps. As his skills grow (which in future for him may well develop into generating a sustainable income for him back home), I can be released more to develop the program by interacting with the students in their lyric creation and perhaps grow the “acoustic” side of things, writing songs/ arranging music from scratch, as we so often used to do (maybe draw the girls in again?).

The greatest success has to be the relationships (read friendships) that form. When I arrive, there is invariably a group all talking together, listening to beats, practicing/ performing a section of a rap. There is a bond of trust that is growing that leads to a deeper sharing of our lives. It was so special to receive a message from one of the group over the holidays merely(!) asking how my holiday was going. That, and the WhatsApp conversation that followed, have put me on a high!

In closing, I would like to cite two examples (and there are multiple):

One of the boys was angry about something at home (?) and an older boy said, “Don’t let it get under your skin. Do what I do. When I’m angry, I rap about it.”

One of the more proficient rappers arrived for a session and was clearly focussed on writing lyrics. When it came time to record, this normally fluent rapper kept “choking” (making mistakes). It turned out that the rap was addressed to his father whom he had not seen since his father walked out on him and his mother when he was 7 years old. It was the emotion of that memory that was causing him to falter. The words of the chorus: “If you knew I was dying, would it change you”.

Humbled and privileged.
Myles Bing

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