The Foundation and Community Affairs Department
Ms King expresses the view that it is “important that St Mary’s girls who are educated in a privileged environment are aware of the reality of South Africa and indeed much of the world. The involvement and awareness of our girls in a wider context is instrumental in their development and maturation into responsible and contributing citizens.”
Community Affairs provides, as it has done for many years, lessons and enrichment for pupils from schools in Alexandra and surrounding areas. This Saturday school, called the Ikusasa Lethu programme, happens on the St Mary's campus and a not inconsiderable number of these pupils achieve astounding results and gain entrance into top tertiary institutions. By way of example, one young man, Lucas Manhica whose father is an illegal immigrant from Mozambique, achieves seven distinctions in matric. Without a valid ID he is not able to attend Wits but he is accepted at the African Leadership Academy and is awarded a place, on a full scholarship, to Michigan State University in the USA.
Many girls are involved in community projects. The school has long-established connections with HA Jack Primary School and Waverley Girls’ High School, which is now a Model C school, and one St Mary’s pupil co-ordinates a project to build the school new classrooms. Every year, a number of girls spend a working week-end in a primary school in Limpopo.
The Foundation has begun to build a capital base by 2010. The return on investment of this capital will support education for girls, the training of teachers, and the funding of community affairs programmes.