An inscription at the entrance of Hilton College reads: “Enter these gates with humility, determined to contribute to, and to take advantage of, all that this institution offers, and depart knowing that you are well equipped to forge your future in the world.”
The college ethos inspired Grade 12 pupil Luke Lourenco and his peers to embark on their “Run for Africa, Run for Lives” initiative.
Luke commented, “The Hilton College community aims to do more than ‘stay active’ in these uncertain times. As Hiltonians, we are encouraged to look beyond ourselves.”
The young men felt it was their responsibility to find ways to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown and rallied family and friends to support their cause.
In what was termed a “collective run”, the Hilton pupils covered 11 172km, the total distance from Cape Town to Africa’s northernmost point, Ras Ben Sakka, in northern Tunisia.
By the end of May, the thousands of kilometres had been clocked up and a total of R135,000 had been raised. This has been donated to the three charities the Hilton pupils had nominated, each receiving R45 000: Ithemba Projects, based in the Sweetwaters community near King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape; Witkoppen Clinic, Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg; and The Domino Foundation based in Durban North.
Luke explained that his sister, Melissa, a pupil at Maris Stella, had spent time at The Domino Foundation doing community service and was enthusiastic about the work the foundation is doing in its eight programmes which make a difference to the lives of thousands of people each day.
“I was inspired by what Melissa told me and really felt that it would be a great idea if our ‘Run for Africa’ could contribute to what the foundation is doing, particularly through its relief aid programme during lockdown.”
Marketing manager at Domino, Karen Brokensha, said in recognition of the young men’s efforts, “It has been so inspirational to hear of the whole Hilton community coming together to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people in our country.”
She encouraged other groups who would like to join the foundation’s efforts, to contact her on email@example.com or 031 563 9605.