Leading philanthropist visits Ottery school that she founded 10 years ago

Important to give back to community

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Christel DeHaan, the founder of Christel House South Africa, a school for disadvantaged children in Ottery, Cape Town, was welcomed at the school with a special assembly held in her honour recently.

DeHaan visited the school along with the Christel House Global Leadership Team, consisting of principals and leaders from the Christel House schools in seven other countries around the world: India, Mexico, the USA, Spain, the UK, France and Finland.

The global leadership team were visiting South Africa for the global conference, which happens every 18 months where the team of leaders share best practice and discuss ways to help break the cycle of poverty more effectively.“We were very excited to host the global leadership team in South Africa this year,” said Sharon Williams Head of Marketing and Public Relations at Christel House South Africa. “The ideas discussed at the conference and best practices shared will be established and implemented within Christel House South Africa and help us to improve the service we offer to children in our community.”

The Christel House network – established 16 years ago by Christel DeHaan, well known in the timeshare and travel and tourism industries, is an advocate of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.  Her message of giving back and making a difference has been delivered at conferences and lectures all around the world.

She passionately embraces the philosophy of 12th century philosopher, Maimonides "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". Her own philosophy is manifested in her belief and practice: "To care, to share, to make a difference."

All of the pupils at Christel House SA come from marginalised communities and the school aims to provide each one of them with a holistic school experience and educated. “There are a great number of people help to make this possible, from teachers and volunteers to our valued donors who help make our work possible,” said Williams.

“I would like to thank the dedicated teachers and staff for all the long hours they put in to get the pupils to that level of competency in everything that they do, whether it be academic, choir, dancing, singing and all other cultural activities,” said DeHaan.

During their two week stay the Global Leadership Team will visited universities and potential donors to create further awareness for Christel House South Africa.

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