Saline Area Schools is partnering with First Presbyterian Church of Saline and Care Village Orphanage in Middleburg, South Africa to start a new school for about 100 children there. The project was inspired by a church mission trip last summer. While on the trip, Robert Cindric, a music teacher at Saline schools, recognized a need for an on-site school at the orphanage.
In South Africa, schools are all tuition-based. The children in the orphanage currently are split up among schools across Middleburg, because they can't pay tuition. An on-site school would allow the children to learn in their own community.
On returning from South Africa, Cindric organized a donation of furniture and other supplies from Saline schools. That donation, which was supplemented by the community, filled a shipping container. Among the items donated were eight pianos, five keyboards, and fifty ukuleles, according to Cindric.
"We're going to start a music program at Care Village, we're going to try to start an art program, we're going to teach English. So, again, our hope is to establish the school by paying for its staff and allow the school to be self sustaining hopefully after a year," says Cindric.
Additional plans for the partnership include an exchange program that would host children from Care Village in Saline, as well as visiting teachers traveling from Saline to Middleburg.