A night under the stars for a good cause

Auckland Park Academy of Excellence's Tasmia Taloo stirs a large soup pot.

The Auckland Park Academy of Excellence (Apax) has joined the School SleepOut project to raise awareness about the harsh reality of being homeless.

On 27 and 28 July, the school converted one of their buildings into a mock homeless camp in solidarity with the SheEO SleepOut. Apax’s SleepOut was only open to grade 10’s and 11’s at the school and the boys and girls had separate SleepOut dates.

A group of learners from the Auckland Park Academy of Excellence warm their hands by a make-shift boma.

Luxuries were not allowed and they had to prepare their own meals over the fire. Because of the cold and the only heat being fire, the girls and teachers decided to make a large pot of soup.

A big pot of soup cooks on the fire.

Apax’s SleepOut also had an important guest who spoke to the youngsters about the importance of the initiative as well as the reality of homelessness in Johannesburg.

Aqeelah Abed, who is school brand ambassador in grade 11, sparked the initiative at the school after the school where her mother teaches held one.

After her application was accepted Abed went through a training camp on how to run a SleepOut as well as how to market the project to get other schools involved.

School brand ambassador Aqeelah Abed warms her hands by the fire.

While the SleepOut is used to raise awareness about homeless people, donations are also collected and given to charity.

Apax’s charity is Impilo which helps babies in need. Subsequently, the school is also collecting nappies, wet wipes, formula and other baby products for the organisation. This is in line with this year’s SleepOut theme – mothers and babies in need.

During August, Apax will be receiving donations from the public for Impilo. Abed has urged community members to use their school as a drop-off point for donations. The school is located at 48 Richmond Avenue, Auckland Park.

ALSO READ: Pupils ‘rough it’ for the night 

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  AUTHOR
Roxy de Villiers
Journalist

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