With thousands of matrics enthusiastically planning their matric farewells, it's easy to forget that for many underprivileged kids the idea of attending this important event at the end of their school careers, is just not possible.
With this in mind d'Olyfboom Family Estate in Paarl has joined hands with hospitality intern Lihle Mdidimba who founded a non-profit organisation called #YoungLeadersOrganisation(#YLO for short)in 2018 to do just that – collect matric dresses to be donated to learners who cannot afford it.
d'Olyfboom events organisor Amy van Niekerk explains; "d'Olyfboom with its spectacular setting is often used as a venue for matric "pre" photo sessions and we will once again this year have various packages on offer for matric groups and their parentsto make use of our facilities. We wanted to bring something 'real' to the general razzmatazz and this project gives us the perfect opportunity to helpthose who are less fortunate than ourselves and many of our guests and visitors too."
Lihle tells us more about her involvement in the project; "After completing a leadership course, my friend who is a fantastic achiever at school and in the community, told me that she cannot get hold of a dress to wear to our matric farewell.There and then I decided to make use of my newly-learnt leadership skills and help her and others like her!"
"It wasn't easy at all and that's when we decided to start a non-profit organisation to collect more than 50 dresses.I also met Sarah Brown from the USA who was at the course with us, and she is visiting SA again in June with heaps of dresses she and her friends have collected at home as well!"
The group collects matric farewell dresses, bride's maid dresses, evening gowns and shoes, jewellery and accessories.The general public are invited to drop off any unused or previously worn items at the Reception Office at d'Olyfboom in Napier Street, Paarl during office hours on weekdays, before the end of July.