Enable a Child. Enrich a Community
Since its inception in 2004, the Pebbles Project Trust has worked to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children and families in the agricultural communities of the Western Cape, South Africa. Creation’s close involvement with the Pebbles Hemel-en-Aarde Education Project of which we are a founder member, dates back to 2017. Since then it has been our privilege to see an increasing number of our local children blossom thanks to the generous donations from Creation guests, local businesses and friends.
Pebbles truly changes lives and in celebration of the 20th anniversary of this worthy project this year, we take pleasure in featuring the inspirational story of one of its beneficiaries, Astou Beye.
Growing up in the Hemel-en-Aarde
When I was 10 years old my parents moved to an apple farm named Tolbos where we still live. Growing up in the Hemel-en-Aarde was amazing, being surrounded by so many different farms and learning so many different things. Having friends that I could visit on the neighbouring farms was by far the most exciting. Hemel-en-Aarde is, and forever will be my home.
When we moved to the farm, my parents enrolled me at the nearby Diepgat Primary School where I met a lot of fantastic people, made great memories and forged lasting friendships. My journey at Diepgat started in grade 4. However, when I was in grade 7 the school was shut down in the middle of the year and I had nowhere to go. My parents tried finding a school for me but no school was willing to take a learner in the middle of the year, especially in grade 7. That’s where Pebbles came to my rescue.
In Praise of Pebbles
Pebbles opened a school for three learners, and I happened to be one of them. I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs Roux, who not only fed our minds but also taught us great life lessons which I still remember today. When I started my high school journey as a grade 8 learner, I was well prepared because our teacher went that extra mile to teach us what we needed to know for the following year as well!
Ms Madeleine, our principal at Pebbles, helped me to enrol at Overberg High. Pebbles helped me raise the funds for my new school and also assisted me in obtaining a school uniform and the required books. Pebbles gave me a family and a home that I cherish dearly. I will forever be grateful to Pebbles for believing and investing in me, equipping me with the education needed to succeed in life.
The five years I spent at Overberg High was awesome. I still remember my grade 8 camp as if it were yesterday. The love that I got from the school and the teachers was out of this world. I boarded in the school hostel, Nerina, where by the way, the food was great! I made more happy memories, and eventually became a hostel prefect. Overberg High not only taught me self-discipline and leadership skills, it also taught me to respect others, no matter what. I’m grateful to the teachers for being so passionate about their work.
Following my matric exams, I started working at Creation as an intern, which was most informative to say the least. For example, how to work with people and most definitely how to talk to them in a polite way! Working at Creation has enhanced my teamwork as well as my multitasking skills. I also learnt a lot about wine and food because this time I had the opportunity to be an assistant, working with the chefs. In most restaurants the chefs are known to be quite difficult but the chefs at Creation are the best. They understand when you make a mistake and gently correct you instead of shouting at you. The Creation hosts are stars. They are always willing to help and answer my every question, even if I ask it for the seventh time! I was able to make new friends which I hope to keep. I now feel a part of the Creation family which I will love forever.
I honestly cannot wait to begin my journey at Stellenbosch University where I’ll be studying Charted Accounting. I hope to meet old friends and make new ones, but most importantly, I hope to never forget any single person who had a hand in me getting the best education ever.