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Trans Africa Safaris – an ardent supporter of Uthando

Trans Africa Safaris has been an ardent supporter of Uthando for the past 8 or so years and we really embrace all the wonderful work that the organization does for impoverished communities.  

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Uthando (Love) South Africa is a unique and innovative Non Profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited company whose aim is to raise funds and other forms of assistance for community development projects in South Africa.

Recently, the founder, James Fernie, sent out this notification on the Cape Town Opera Outreach Programme.

Uthando is constantly striving to offer truly inspiring, authentic and meaningful experiences while doing good, showcasing remarkable stories and helping to raise money for innovative community projects.

We shine a light on beautiful people, doing incredible things while helping them!

 

Cape Town Opera Outreach

If you think that opera is elitist, with no possible relevance to impoverished communities in South Africa, Cape Town Opera (CTO) would like to invite you to think again.

As a company operating in a developing country, Cape Town Opera (CTO) embraces its social responsibilities. With two full-time staff and 10 contract workers, CTO’s Education and Outreach department maintains an energetic program of projects that annually benefits over 4, 000 learners primarily in rural/township communities across eight South African provinces.

small5As Africa’s premier opera company, CTO is committed to ensuring that young learners from low-income backgrounds experience the magic of opera.  CTO works directly with 160 primary school learners based in Vredenburg, Retreat and Nyanga and six school teachers/administrators from schools in these communities.

These communities are rife with social problems such as teenage pregnancy, boredom, unemployment, alcoholism, drug addiction, HIV infection, and school dropout. CTO uses music and singing as a palliative to sustain hope and joy in the face of adversity.

In response to the lack of resources in township primary schools, Cape Town Opera has created Opera is My First Language, a mobile teaching resource that provides weekly in-depth music instruction to 160 young learners throughout the year.

Hailed as a cornerstone of a complete education curriculum, sadly the time spent on music instruction has unfortunately steadily decreased in public schools over the past twenty years, especially among schools that serve children of low socio-economic backgrounds. With severely overtaxed resources in township primary schools, efforts are focused on teaching basic reading, writing and mathematics skills and music has become a marginalized subject which is either taught poorly, or not at all.

For six months, the students of St. Mary’s School in Retreat have been preparing to perform an opera adaptation of the Fairy Tale, Hansel and Gretel.  During two hour classes, they have been learning music notation, how to read a music score, and participating in dance and drawing classes related to Hansel and Gretel. In addition, they have been studying a written script of the play, to help with literacy.

As a non-profit company, Cape Town Opera relies on the generosity of patrons, corporates and Trusts and Foundations. As we receive no sustained government funding, we seek innovative ways to ensure the sustainability of the future of opera in South Africa.

In support of the above production, Uthando is running a VERY special tour on Friday, 28 October 2016. The focus of the tour will be visiting a school in the area of Retreat (Cape Town southern suburbs) to watch a 45-minute dress rehearsal of Hansel and Gretel, a production being staged as part of Cape Town Opera (CTO) Outreach Programme.

Clients will experience the joy of watching 70 children singing on stage, supported by 10 members of CTO, all wearing beautiful funky costumes designed by Cape Town Opera’s resident Set Designer, Michael Mitchell.

This is a rare opportunity to watch some of South Africa’s top opera singers singing on stage with children from underprivileged communities in one of these communities.

Besides visiting this project the tour will also include a visit to one of the beautiful Abalimi Bezekhaya vegetable gardens in Khayelitsha.

All funds raised will be of money will be donated to projects visited.

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