As part of our ongoing corporate social investment (CSI) work, we recently welcomed 12 learners from Tembaletu School in Gugulethu to the top of Table Mountain. Tembaletu is currently one of the only schools in the Cape Town area for learners with special needs (either physical or intellectual) that teaches in isiXhosa.
Zoe Kalligiannis is a student occupational therapist completing her final honours year at the University of Cape Town, and wrote to us requesting assistance in giving these learners a once-in-lifetime opportunity to visit one of the New7Wonders of Nature. We were happy to assist, and below is the letter Zoe sent us after the trip:
“Thank you so much for organising the tickets for the 12 learners. The day was a complete success, and the weather held out beautifully. The learners thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the excursion, from driving into town and waiting in line to ‘purchase their own tickets’ (part of an exercise for learners to experience buying cableway tickets) with the money that they had earned during the school term, to the lifts (this was a novel experience for most) and, of course, the grand finale of riding in the cableway car and the view from the top.
“Many of them commented on the vastness of the ocean. This, too, was a novel experience as many have never visited a beach, despite growing up close to the coast.
“I would like to comment on and commend all the staff of Table Mountain Cableway for their friendliness and professionalism. They treated all learners with the utmost respect and dignity and went the extra mile to ensure that our experience was spectacular. Tania (ticket office manager) went out of her way to open a separate ticket office for the ‘staged’ payment, and organised an isiXhosa-speaking ticket officer, who was notified to encourage learners to engage in conversation – this put learners at ease and allowed them to practise confidence in public speaking (a skill we have been working on throughout the school term).
“Furthermore, the gentlemen in the cableway assisted in organising an isiXhosa-speaking guide, who was able to pitch the ‘tour’ at a level appropriate to the learners’ intellectual needs. Every member of staff who we interacted with was interested and willing to assist us in anyway possible.
“We are sincerely grateful to everyone we came into contact with on the day of the visit, as well as to the Table Mountain Cableway for making this opportunity possible for these learners. It really was a once-in-a-life time experience for this group of individuals. Please extend our gratitude to the rest of the team.”
To find out more about our corporate social investment work, please visit our CSI page.