Educational trust sponsors burn survivors’ visit to Maropeng
On October 1, burn survivors from the Children of Fire charity organisation visited Maropeng’s Visitor Centre to learn about their heritage as part a new initiative launched by the Maropeng Educational programme sponsored by the Cradle of Humankind Trust.
Through the Cradle of Humankind and contributions from Steffunti Stocks, Maropeng has launched an educational programme which sponsors groups of children’s visits to Maropeng. Children of Fire were the first sponsored tour.
Children of Fire is Africa’s first charity set up to care for young burn victims. Dedicated to assisting survivors through every facet of their rehabilitation, the organisation also runs an esteem-building programme for teenage burn survivors.
The programme, while boosting the confidence of the survivors, also aims to educate their communities. “It is common for individuals without disfigurement to believe that our burned children cannot achieve something as great. Our organisation proves them wrong,” says Emily Coppel, a volunteer for the organisation.
As part of the tour this year, the survivors visited Maropeng to learn more about their country and where they all originate from. Amazed at what they saw, they showed enthusiasm from the moment they entered the front doors.
Andani Mphapuli, a burn survivor from South Africa, expressed his thanks to Maropeng. “I am so grateful for this opportunity to visit Maropeng – I never thought that such an amazing place like this existed, especially in South Africa,” he said.
Shirley Seghobane, also from South Africa, echoed Andani’s gratitude. “I have learnt so much about my heritage and was amazed to learn how plants have evolved,” she said.
Erica Saunders, marketing manager of Maropeng, is excited about the future of the Maropeng Educational Trust. “It enables us to give children the opportunity to visit Maropeng who otherwise would not have been able to visit. It’s a wonderful experience for children and it gives them important educational information, helping them to understand where we as humankind have come from,” she says.
The Maropeng Educational Programme will continue sponsoring groups for the rest of 2009 and into 2010. “As long as we have money we will bring as many children to Maropeng as we can,” says Saunders.