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Hugh Boyd and Rotary combine to work in Refilwe

Kyle Gomes   Aug-16-2018

Alicia Zhang painting the mural of her own design on the container.

Photo by Kyle Gomes


Nine students and alumni from Hugh Boyd secondary were working hard in a small community in South Africa named Refilwe during a three-week trip that started in late July.

Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset and Hugh Boyd secondary have supported Refilwe for the past 10 years. During this time, the efforts have funded the construction of a water filtration system, library, training centres for welding and carpentry and an industrial kitchen. Also purchased were a school bus, food tunnels—to grow crops while keeping them safe from monkeys—and the teams have refurbished numerous buildings.

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To prepare for the trip, the team gathered many essential supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, clothing and first aid supplies. Additionally, the team packed baby blankets, teddy bears and shoes for the local children.

These supplies will be distributed locally as well as to the surrounding communities.

The team includes teacher Ed Chan, counsellor Talia Babecoff-Kimhi, as well as Richmond Fire-Rescue’s Kirby Graeme and Rotary Club’s Magdalen Leung.

This year’s work will include renovating a shipping container into a portable classroom, decorating the container with a Canadian-themed mural, repainting one of the daycare rooms, and repairing any additional infrastructure around Refilwe.

Students will also get the opportunity to spend time with the local children; they will teach them about Canadian culture and get a glimpse into their daily lives.


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