From Witzenberg to Germany
The Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM) believes that developing our youth into skilled leaders will help our district grow and give effect to our vision of a unified Cape Winelands of excellence for sustainable development. One of the ways to address this is through an agreement between the CWDM and the organisation Landesverband Kinder- und Jugenderholungszentren Sachsen-Anhalt e.V. Kieze (www.kieze.com), known as KIEZ in Germany.
Through this agreement, KIEZ has afforded learners from the Cape Winelands area the incredible opportunity of attending an educational youth camp in Germany. In 2018, an opportunity was afforded to fourteen Breede Valley learners and in 2019 eleven learners from schools in the Drakenstein atteded. And just as planning was underway for the next group, the pandemic arrived and there was a hiatus of two years. This year, we could carry on and eleven Witzenberg learners journeyed to Quedlinburg, Germany in September.
Accompanying the learners were, Executive Mayor Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht, Community Development and Planning Services Executive Director, Pietie Williams and Manager in Office of the Mayor, Magon Matthyse as well as the Deputy Director of Corporate Services, Denise Wesso from the Western Cape Education: Cape Winelands District.
Through their youth camp the host organisation provides children and adolescents world-wide with opportunities to learn through active recreation, meaningful leisure activities and education.
Furthermore, the official visit strengthened the relationship between Sanschen-Anhalt, Germany and the CWDM by identifying projects and programmes that will benefit both parties through the exchange of information and knowledge.
“Like the learners, it was my first time in Germany, and we were so grateful for the cultural exchange. A highlight was experiencing the InterCity Express, a high-speed train that connects all major cities in Germany. The learners enjoyed learning about the history of the schooling system in Germany, the alternative power (hydro-power) and how it supplies electricity to Quedlinburg. A whole new world has opened for them.” Magon Matthyse explained.
The agreement between KIEZ and the CWDM aims to encourage tolerance between cultures, develop leadership skills, broaden learners’ vision and enhance their sense of responsibility for their immediate environment and the world. This is a true reflection of the CWDM’s vision of building a sustainable economy for the future.