After 10 years of serving as chairperson of the southern district for Health Promoting Schools (HPS), Lavender Hill resident Soraya Solomon, 71, is resigning from the position.
The HPS initiative, which was started 21 years ago, is a partnership by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and Western Cape Health Department (WCHD) where educators and health staff try and cultivate healthy habits as well as provide health services.
The HPS programme also looks at curative and preventative services.
Ms Solomon, who has been part of HPS since the start in 1995, spent 40 years of her teaching career at Lourier Primary School, in Retreat, and retired five years ago but continued her position as chairperson for HPS.
She, however, will still help out at HPS when needed.
“I first got involved with HPS because I was inspired by the idea of helping not only children but communities through the initiative and here I am 21 years later still doing it because of the love and passion for children.
“In affluent areas children have easy access to health care because their parents can afford to take them to the best doctors but our children do not have that type of access so they need a programme like HPS,” said Ms Solomon.
Sister Cheryl Adams who has also been involved with HPS since the begining said Ms Solomon is an inspiration.
“She’s dedicated and committed, creative, enthusiastic and such a positive person. A lovely person to work with and it has been a pleasure to work with her,” said Ms Adams.
Patricia Bailey, a teacher at Levana Primary School, in Lavender Hill, who will be taking over as chairperson, said she has learnt a lot from Ms Solomon.
“She is dedicated and a good role model. I will co-chair with her until she steps down. I am hoping to continue what she has done in the South Metro of the HPS,” said Ms Bailey.
Ms Solomon’s hope for the HPS is that it grows and for more schools to come on board. “I wish nothing of the best for the HPS and that it continues forever because the service it provides is invaluable,” said Ms Solomon.