On Saturday 23 February 2019, The Swiss Hotel School (SHS) 2nd-year students organised a fun day event for the residents and hospitality students of Sizwile School for the Deaf. This formed a part of the adopt-a-school programme; an initiative of SA Chefs Association (SACA) and the National Youth Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP) in association with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE). As part of their Events Management Module, the SHS 2nd year students organised a variety of games and events for the young children of Sizwile, while also conducting a cooking workshop for the grade 10, 11, and 12 hospitality students.
The aims of the day were to raise deaf awareness, promote culinary education in schools as well as giving back to the community. The day started with a cooking workshop by Executive Chef Chad Humby of The Swiss Hotel School demonstrating to the students how to make two Mexican inspired main dishes, a Chilli Con Carne and a Chicken Fajita finished off with a classic British bread and butter pudding for dessert. The ease with which the dishes were prepared inspired all. The students of the school were split into three groups each responsible for preparing one of the three dishes under the supervision and guidance of the SHS students. It was truly amazing and inspirational to see how the students from both schools communicated with each other using sign language and other non-verbal methods. While the cooking workshop was happening, the younger students of Sizwile participated in multiple activities on the day such as Egg and Spoon race, Face painting, and soccer and netball skills, but by far the activity that caused the most excitement was the waterslide. The students loved running and jumping onto a wet jumping castle slide and slipping and sliding all the way to the cool pool of water at the end. The perfect aid to a hot Saturday morning.
Just before lunch was served the students were gathered for a few words from Miss Deaf South Africa 2018 Lethiwe Ntaka. Lethiwe is a former drama student of Sizwile and gave a moving speech that inspired both non-hearing and hearing people alike. Her message was to not let in the inability to hear stop students from pursuing their dreams. She used her story as an example of what determination and hard work can do to change lives. Lethiwe will be representing South Africa at the Miss Deaf World pageant that is being held in Nelspruit in July this year. These pageants hosted by MDSA (Miss Deaf South Africa) are a great opportunity for Deaf people to build self-confidence and to face the hearing world.
The Swiss Hotel School would like to thank MDSA (Miss Deaf South Africa) for their time and for donating funds to the Sizwile School. We also want to thank our partners SA Chefs, the National Youth Chef’s Training Program and the Gauteng Department of Education for their donations and involvement. For the SHS students, they not only walked away with photos and memories, but they have learned a lot about Deaf culture and how to work in the Deaf community.
“It was a Heart-warming experience where we could bring joy to the kids,” – Nonala Mbatha, SHS Student.
“It was a wonderful experience, heartfelt and a well-received initiative.” – Hudson Masondo, SACA.
On behalf of the Event team responsible for making this day happen, we are very grateful for everyone that helped on the day and contributed to the cause.