St. Mary's and Mnyakanya pupils receive Diana Award March 2014

Fourteen students from St. Mary’s Menston and twenty seven students from Mnyakanya High School in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa have received the prestigious Diana Award for their collaboration through the Bambisanani Partnership

The Diana Award was established in the UK in 1999 in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, as a legacy to her belief in the power of young people to change the world. The British Prime Minister David Cameron is a Patron of the Diana Award.

The International Diana Award was launched in 2011; it is in keeping with the remarkable charitable work that Princess Diana herself pioneered all around the world.  Recipients are young people from across the globe who are committed to helping others and improving their communities. International Award holders include volunteers, fundraisers, campaigners and those who have overcome adversity.

Mnyakanya High School are in partnership with St. Mary’s, Menston. For the past seven years the two schools have worked together as the Bambisanani Partnership, using sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, leadership and global citizenship.  Bambisanani is the Zulu word for working hand in hand and encapsulates the collaboration between the two schools.  The Bambisanani Partnership has gained international acclaim for its work and this year students involved met Prince William at a Diana Award celebration event.

Over the last year, the Young Leaders from Mnyakanya School have volunteered to work in their community with the ‘Child Care’ organisation caring and supporting victims of abuse or those with HIV infection. The students have developed peer mentoring and community programmes as well as liaising with other agencies that can support the victims. Their work has had a remarkable impact which is widely acknowledged and high regarded by the local community.

“We are so excited that our learners have gained the wonderful Diana Award.  Last year we were the first school in South Africa to gain the award and this just shows what an inspiration that has proved to be.  The Diana Award reinforces our Bambisanani Partnership which is an inspiration to us in so many ways.  My learners too are inspirational, they have developed leadership skills and want to do something for their own community.  They are positive and show love and empathy to others, they do not discriminate and they are not judgemental.  Their strength and determination is remarkable, they are inspirational leaders who are changing the lives of others.”
Mrs PK Zondi, who has coordinated the volunteering at Mnyakanya School

Fourteen students from St. Mary’s have also received the Diana Award for their work in South Africa. The students visited the country last summer and were responsible for mentoring young leaders from Mnyakanya through the Bambisanani Leadership Award.  In addition to this they also taught at the school and together with Mnyakanya students, were responsible for organising community reading and sports festivals. The St. Mary’s students also worked at Ntolwane Primary School and Zulufadder Orphanage.

“The Nkandla area of South Africa where we work, is extremely poor with one of the highest HIV/Aids rates in the world.  Education and developing young leaders is key to breaking this cycle of poverty, deprivation and ignorance.  I am so proud of the young leaders/volunteers from Mnyakanya and St. Mary’s.  In a world that seems keen to focus on the negativity of young people, they are wonderful role models who are determined to make a difference in the most difficult of circumstances.  They are all very honoured to receive the Diana Award.”
David Geldart, Assistant Headteacher from St. Mary’s and founder of the Bambisanani partnership

“The Bambisanani Partnership is a wonderful collaboration between St. Mary’s, Menston and Mnyakanya High School. We are delighted that the inspirational young people involved have been awarded the Diana Champion Volunteer Award for their dedication and passion to improving the lives of others. With a growing network of over 40,000 Award holders, we are building a force of young people who are committed to take social action and improve our communities.” 
Tessy Ojo, Executive Director at the Diana Award

Mnyakanya students who received the International Diana Award:
•    Holisizwe Zuma
•    Xolile Makhoba
•    Nokubonga Khanyile
•    Ntombiningi Bhengu
•    Lungelo Dludia
•    Nonjabulo Mikhize
•    Lungelo Mkhize
•    Bonginkosi Thusi
•    Malusi Zuma
•    Sanele Ngcobo
•    Minenhle Mikhize
•    Jabulile Biyela
•    Cebisile Mkhize
•    Nothando Magwaza
•    Nokuthobeka Ngcobo
•    Thandokuhle Ngcoba
•    Sakhile Mabusela
•    Ayanda Mkhize
•    Sabatha Blose
•    Nosihle Shange
•    Philile Luswazi
•    Siphesihle Shange
•    Minenhle Zuma
•    Noxolo Dube
•    Mluleki Biyela
•    Nzuzo Khanyile
•    Zinhle Zondi

St. Mary’s Menston students who received the Diana Champion Volunteer Award:
•    Kavindu Appuhamy
•    Elizabeth Banks
•    Ryan Clarke
•    Patrick Connolly
•    Emily Fieldhouse
•    Michael Jones
•    Freya O’Connor
•    Jade Rigby Williams
•    James Riley
•    Hannah Smith
•    Chloe Tindale
•    Madeline Tysoe
•    Charlie Walker

Pupils honoured for a global partnership [WHARFEDALE OBSERVER]