Stellenbosch School Benefits from Cape Wine Auction

Thanks to the monies raised at the annual Cape Wine Auction (CWA), 156 learners attending SPARK Lynedoch near Stellenbosch do so on full or partial bursaries.

The Cape Wine Auction which issponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth,and which takes place this Saturday at Buitenverwachting in Constantia, is regarded as the most significant international wine charity auction ever conceived in South Africa.

It has, in only five years of its existence, created a benchmark in philanthropy, raising over R71 million, with all proceeds raised at the auction distributed by the Cape Wine Auction Trust to 22 carefully selected beneficiaries who make a profound impact on the education and lives of children in the Cape winelands.SPARK Lynedoch is one such recipient.

“The Trust also assists with transport for the learners as this is often a very real barrier to attending school for children from farming communities,” says Andi Norton, CWA Trust facilitator.

SPARK Schools is the independent educational institution which is positively disrupting and challenging the face of education in South Africa. It is doing this not only in the revolutionary way its scholars are taught but – more importantly – disputing the view that quality independent education has to be costly and unaffordable to those in the lower income bracket. It uses aground-breaking blended learning model which costs less than many government run schools.

Says SPARK Lynedoch principal Megan Rivas-Garcia: “The support from the Cape Wine Auction Trust has had tangible results and changed the lives of our learners. Scholars who receive bursaries make up a fair amount of our school and many are top achievers in all subject areas. These scholars are determined, focused individuals who are performing exceptionally well at international standards, achieving marks as high as 90% for maths and literacy and 100% for IsiXhosa. Our goal at SPARK is to provide a solid foundation on which the scholars can grow into holistically successful adults.”

Rivas-Garcia continues: “I could talk for hours about what makes SPARK Lynedoch special, but my favourite aspectwould have to be our diversity. We have scholars and staff from all walks of life who cometogether every day to grow and learn from each other. This diversity allows everyone theopportunity to develop compassion and understanding - two qualities that I think are of the utmostimportance in our country today.”

The CWA Trust beneficiaries work in collaboration as a community to bring about measurable change, an example being the Lunchbox Fund which provides SPARK Lynedoch bursary scholars with food,while Community Keepers provides pyscho social support for the children.