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Jakes Gerwel Entrepreneurial School in Bonnievale gives hope for the future

Bonnievale is a beautiful farmland in the Western Cape but many in the community are poor and school placement is limited.

The community banded together to change this and the Jakes Gerwel Entrepreneurial School is being born.

In a partnership between the Western Cape Education Department and the Jakes Gerwel Entrepreneurship School Funding Trust, government will contribute 40% and the Trust the additional 60% of funding.

And they have succeeded in making this project a reality. The school is expected to open in January 2018.

One of the trustees Phillip Jonker spoke to John Maytham about the area and the project.

Bonnievale is such a picturesque place but the economy isn't strong and children who grow up here have a difficult time.

Phillip Jonker, Jakes Gerwel Entrepreneurship School Funding Trust

He says they can see self-esteem drop as kids grow older given the lack of schooling opportunities.

We realised that in a few years time we would have more than 1200 kids without a high school desk.

Phillip Jonker, Jakes Gerwel Entrepreneurship School Funding Trust

The project is underway and the community has generously donated money and services.

Philip Jonker himself donated 12 hectares of land, and local people - the architect, land surveyor, engineers, attorneys and an earth-moving company have all worked pro bono.

An additional R50 million was raised to meet the agreement with government.

The 30 classrooms and 12 state of the art technical workshops will start with an intake of 240 grade 8 and 9 pupils.

Jonker says the school sits on magnificent 12 hectares of land among the vineyards with three sorts fields.

Most importantly it is a 'no fee' school but a school of excellence that will undoubtedly change the lives of the children of Bonnievale.

It is a heartwarming example of how a community can work together to create a better future.

Click here to go to their website.

Listen to the inspiring interview below:

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