Pupils honoured for a global partnership

Wharfedale Observer: St Mary’s students with their Diana Awards St Mary’s students with their Diana Awards

Young people from Yorkshire and South Africa involved in a partnership promoting education, health, leadership and global citizenship have gained a Diana Award.

Fourteen students from St Mary’s School, Menston, and 27 students from Mnyakanya High School in rural Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, have received the prestigious Diana Award for their collaboration through the Bambisanani Partnership.

The Diana Award was established in the UK in 1999 in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Recipients are young people from across the globe who are committed to helping others and improving their communities. International Award holders include volunteers, fundraisers, campaigners and those who have overcome adversity.

For the past seven years the two schools have worked together as the Bambisanani Partnership, using sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, leadership and global citizenship.

Over the last year, the young leaders from Mnyakanya School have volunteered to work in their community with the ‘Child Care’ organisation caring and supporting victims of abuse or those with HIV infection.

The students have developed peer mentoring and community programmes as well as liaising with other agencies that can support the victims. Their work has had a remarkable impact which is widely acknowledged and high regarded by the local community.

The 14 students from St Mary’s visited the country last summer and were responsible for mentoring young leaders from Mnyakanya. They also taught at the school and, together with Mnyakanya students, were responsible for organising community reading and sports festivals.

The St Mary’s students also worked at Ntolwane Primary School and Zulufadder Orphanage.

St Mary’s assistant headteacher and founder of the Partnership, David Geldart, said: “I am so proud of the young leaders/volunteers from Mnyakanya and St Mary’s. In a world that seems keen to focus on the negativity of young people, they are wonderful role models who are determined to make a difference.”

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