Round Square Annual Conference 2017 in Cape Town

07 Nov 2017

Five students and two staff attended the Round Square annual conference 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. The theme was 'Ignite to Unite' and featured inspirational guest speakers: a young shark attack victim who has overcome losing a limb to return to the water and a conservationist working to protect the diminishing population of rhinos left for dead - their horns taken for the Asian black market.

Students chose Adventure activities such as kayaking to see penguins or hiking up Table Mountain and undertook Service activities working in local schools with students from these very deprived areas dominated by homelessness, unemployment, gangs and drug/gun issues. The students however we met have ambition, drive and determination to overcome difficult circumstances and were very proud of their school.

Pre-conference activities involved attempting to cage dive to see sharks. The bitter cold and choppy water took its toll: not all students were fit to enter the water however no sharks were to be found and after two hours we sadly headed in shore. Apparently the great whites are being chased off by predatory orca whales. We also visited Robben Island- Nelson Mandela's 'home' for 18 years, incarcerated during the ant-apartheid era. Most moving was our guide- a former in-mate himself who could speak from experience about life on the island as a prisoner of conscience.