Read our Sawubona 2018 South Africa Visit Report

Bambisanani volunteer speaks at the Houses of Parliament

St. Mary’s Sixth Form student and Bambisanani Partnership volunteer, Sylvia Cullen, was elected to the UK Youth Parliament this year.

Damian Collins MP with Sylvia Cullen, Year 13

Last week she was chosen to give evidence to the Government’s Digital, Media, Sport and Culture Select Committee in the House of Commons about two projects in her local area. Alongside a choir school project, Sylvia gave a presentation about the Bambisanani Partnership, detailing the work and impact of its programmes, both in the UK and South Africa, before presenting the chair, Damian Collins MP, with the latest Bambisanani book. The meeting was part of an inquiry undertaken by the committee looking into the effects of sport and culture on local communities and education; the report will be published in January.

“It was fantastic to be able to take part in a meeting that will directly influence government policy and get to meet and answer questions with a senior figure in government. I had a great day”
— Sylvia Cullen

Sylvia taking part in the June 2018 St. Mary’s visit to South Africa

“Sylvia’s election to the UK Youth Parliament is a fantastic achievement but one that does not surprise me at all. She is an exceptional young lady who first got involved with the Bambisanani Partnership at St. Mary’s when she was only eleven. For the past seven years she has made a remarkable contribution to the partnership which culminated her volunteering out in South Africa this summer. Her interest in politics does not surprise me either as she has always demonstrated a genuine interest and commitment to Human Rights and Social justice. Her invitation to speak at a Government Select Committee about the Bambisanani Partnership is indicative of her outstanding ability dedication and passion. Long may Sylvia’s interest in the Bambisanani Partnership and politics continue!”
— David Geldart, Founder of the Bambisanani Partnership