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A Derby Day with a difference

On 18 September, we joined four other schools to participate in the 2nd instalment of the Simunye Project’s annual Derby Day event.

The aim of the project is to nurture long-lasting relationships between South African youth from various ends of the wealth spectrum. The participating schools included Christel House SA, Die Duine Primary, Rondebosch Boys Prep, Mzamomtsha Primary and St Cyprians Girls School. The event was structured around fun but intentional interactions to allow for meaningful exchanges, to demystify any preconceived beliefs, to build commonality, and ultimately to nurture lasting friendships between the students.  

The Derby Day event took place at the St Cyprians sports field in Oranjezicht (Cape Town), followed by an exhilarating trip up the Table Mountain cable car. The event started bright and early and 300 Grade 6 & 7 students from the different schools divided into five groups and took part in five special activities. Each activity was designed to find a common ground between the students, including word games using unique South African phrases, writing, and performing a rap song, playing a game about wealth inequality, and signing a pledge card that they will commit to nation building. The main highlight of the event was the cable car ride up to Table Mountain – for almost everyone this was a first and sadly, for most it will be their last.

Grade 6 Christel House SA student, Zia, commented, “My highlight of the Derby Day event was making new friends and finding out how much we have in common’.

Now in its second year, the Derby Day event is one of many interactions on the Simunye project’s annual program, with additional activities taking place within each school to deliver on the project’s goal of nation building. Importantly, the project forms part of a global partnership, called the Wealth Inequality Initiative (WII) that sheds light on the global challenge of wealth inequality. The Initiative follows a multi-stakeholder approach targeting four key goals: awaken interest in wealth inequality, circulate knowledge, mobilise stakeholders and drive action towards more equitable societies.

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