Girl pupils at Floreat Primary School were delighted last week when they got to rub shoulders with beauty-queen turned businesswoman, Amy Kleinhans-Curd.
The former Miss South Africa visited the school on invitation by her own Grade 1 teacher, Eileen Henderson, now a pensioner running a mentorship programme for pu-
Ms Henderson had taught Amy at Hyde Park Primary School in
Fairways when she was just five years old.
Ms Henderson, from Punts Estate, had taught remedial classes at Floreat Primary School in 2004 and was a remedial teacher at Square Hill
Primary School in Retreat too, but she knew she wanted to do even more for children as she had a tremendous passion to work with them.
Earlier this year Ms Henderson started a mentorship programme.
“I approached the school to pitch a mentorship programme where I take the girls to various programmes, initiatives and different places to get them out of their circumstances and help them explore what is outside of their usual environments,” said Ms Henderson.
As it was a pilot project, Ms Henderson started with four pupils selected by principal Noel Isaacs.
The group have met once a month since the beginning of the year for motivational talks and to go to places such as the Artscape Theatre.
Ms Henderson covers the costs from her own pocket.
“I feel something like this is needed at schools because girls need guidance and someone to talk to. My hope is to get several women together so that they can start their own mentoring initiatives at other schools and we can create a network of mentors,” said Ms Henderson.
Amy, who gave the Grade 6 and 7 girls a motivational talk, said the world would be a better place if older, more experienced, successful people can give back their knowledge, wisdom and time to the communities they come from.
“What Ms Henderson has done has been exceptionally powerful. She has not only touched the four girls’ lives but also all the other girls. Hopefully the network grows and it becomes a powerful vehicle for positive change,” said Amy. “Indi-
viduals like myself who come from our communities should come back and be positive role models and
good examples of the fact that this is not where it ends. The status quo
can change and then those youngsters can then become good role models to future generations,” she said.