The project consists of the following:
For each of the 9 farm schools in the surrounding area of Durbanville, for the 2 highest grade classes, we donate a prize to:
1) The best overall achiever
2) the runner-up overall achiever
3) The best in mathematics
4) the best in home language
5) the best in English.
For the 3rd highest grade, we only give prizes as per 1 and 2 above.
The prizes consist of a good quality back-pack with the Rotary logo embroidered on them, plus a book. If, as often happens, a learner receives more than one prize (say best in maths and best overall achiever) then we give that learner one back-pack, but 2 books. The first time any learner wins a prize from us, he/she will get a Rotary dictionary as the book. Thereafter it will be a book related to the subject and class. For us to do this, we keep a database of all the learners who have received a prize from us, in the previous years and what exactly the prizes have been.
We as Rotarians attend the school’s annual prize-giving and hand out the prizes to the learners. If we cannot do so, we ensure that a “Friend of Rotary” (usually one of our retired Rotarians) hand the prizes out. These prizes have had a marked effect on the will to study – they have given the incentive to study which simply was not there before. We have put the name of Rotary out there with great esteem.
3 years after this project started, we had quite a few learners move onto high school (model C schools) in our area and made the grade to Matric. This had not happened before, and according to the Principals, the incentive to study and better themselves has had a marked improvement since we started this project.