The Wild Ride Education Company (WREC) recently completed building the Zithulele Primary-School near Zithulele Hospital. The school, which is located inland from Hole-in-the-Wall (day three on the Imana Wild Ride), opened its’ doors to the first scholars on 22 January 2020, realising the dream of the Zithulele community.
In 2018, Bulungula College was completed in the Xhora District, providing a much-needed high school facility in the area. The college ran it’s first full year in 2019, with great success. During the twentieth Imana Wild Ride last year, scholars from Bulungula College met the participants at Ocean View Hotel in Coffee Bay and sang their gratitude in a heart-warming presentation on the third evening of the event. The schools’ principal, Muthandwa Sincuba, gave a speech which evoked the appreciation of the community who have benefitted enormously from this donation from WREC, the Imana Wild Ride and many corporate and private donors, without whom this project would not have been feasible.
In a recent statement, Sincuba commented, “The beautiful but functional Bulungula College campus generously donated by the WREC is making access to High school and further education and training possible for the first time ever in the lives of our communities. We are proud to report a 90% pass rate for our first cohort in 2019. This year, we expanded our curricula choices, added job skills training and are planning to add courses in New Business Ventures, Education, Health and Agricultural vocations. Without the partnership and support of the WREC, this would simply have been unattainable”.
Rejane Woodroffe, director of the Bulungula Incubator program (under which Bulungula College is managed) added; “Because of WREC, some of the poorest and most remote rural communities in the country are accessing quality educational services from Early Childhood through to job skills and future vocational paths for young adults.”
Between 2016 and 2018, WREC had committed extensive funds to the new projects; with the Bulungula Pre-School in Folokwe Village; and 2017-18 with the building of the Bulungula College campus. WREC funds were virtually depleted at the end of 2018 and 2019 looked to be a ‘recovery and fund-raising’ year for future projects. Yet, against the odds and economic stresses, fund-raising efforts were remarkable and there was fantastic support from riders, Imana Foods and a couple of corporate supporters. This generosity allowed the bank balance to recover sufficiently for WREC to consider supporting a new project. Contact was made with Craig Paxton at Axium Education and after initial meetings, discussions began around the plan to build a new primary school at Zithulele, which was desperately needed as the school was operating from various borrowed buildings in the village. It took some time negotiating with the community for the land, which was eventually approved in October, and construction began in earnest in early November. Thanks to the efforts of the team at Elangeni Buildings, the (first phase) of the school was completed in early December 2019, ready for operation in the new school year.
From a small community of Wild Riders, together with a long-standing loyal sponsor in Imana Foods and the help of many others, WREC is proud to present this classroom block comprising three classrooms and a storeroom to Axium Education.
Some words from Justice Nkumishe, Imana Foods; “Working with the Wild Ride Education Company for the past 15 years has been a privilege and a pleasure. WREC has proved to be a fantastic partner with us, and they have consistently delivered important school infrastructure projects to the poor communities along the Wild Coast.”
Steve Stamp, co-founder and organiser of the Imana Wild Ride, concluded; “To make a difference. A simple mission that the Imana Wild Ride embarked on over twenty years ago. Simple it may be, but its execution demands passion, people and varied resources and most importantly, financial resources. It is said if your money could talk it would define who and whose you are ! To the many who have made our mission possible and ‘whose’ varied contributions have made dreams a reality: 43 classrooms and the flagship Bulungula College and Zithulele Primary School – our sincere thanks. While we may never know quite how much difference our efforts have and may yield, it has been humbling to have been a part of enriching the tapestry of the wild coast region and its peoples. Let us never tire of ‘racing the tide’.”