(Left to right) Student from QwaQwa, South Africa; Parish Kendricks, McClymonds Alumni; Jorge Abundis, Senior at McClymonds; Albert Mitchell, Senior at McClymond; Desean Neabeak-Brantley, McClymonds Alumni. The young men stand in front of a cave at “The Cradle of Humankind” during Mack’s 2017 South Africa trip.
McClymonds High School students are raising money to visit South Africa for the second year in a row. The students themselves explained why they want to go on the trip in a fundraising email.
“The biggest reason is that there has always been a special relationship between Black people in the US and Black South Africans,” the email said. “Aside from the fact that we’re both Black, we are connected through music, our oppression, and our fight for liberation.
J’Mya Gray-Martinez, a freshman at UC Berkeley, wrote:
“I had the opportunity to go with my classmates from McClymonds High School to South Africa last year. South Africa was a life-changing experience for me because I was able to give back in a different way.
“As part of our journey, we took donations to the youth in QwaQwa. We not only were able to give them things like toiletries and clothes, but we also raised enough money to house them during a portion of our trip and make sure that they could join us for certain excursions.
“It was cool to have the youth from QwaQwa join us for things like our trip to ‘The Cradle of Humankind’ and going to see the musical ‘Sarafina’ at the South African State Theater. But the coolest part of the trip was being able to interact with youth from South Africa. We got to laugh, talk, and show each other our different ways of life.”
Another student who went to South Africa was Parrish Kendricks, a freshman at Holy Names University.
“Traveling to South Africa marked my first time traveling outside of the country,” he wrote.
“I really liked the food, playing with the cheetahs, and being able to advocate for our South African peers. During that trip, I realized that I am privileged, and that I take a lot of things for granted.
“South Africa taught me to be more appreciative. I had the most fun during the bike tour and braai (the fish was hecka good).
“Oddly enough, I really enjoyed all our trips on the bus. Traveling around on the bus allowed me to bond with my friends, as well as, take in the South African countryside. I feel like I got a very good sense of what South Africa is like.”
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