At Durban High School we pride ourselves on instilling a sense of social and personal responsibility in our boys and this means that community service is an extension of the attitudes and values we want our boys to possess. We want our school to be sensitive toward social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. Striving for social responsibility helps individuals and institutions like Durban High School have a positive impact on development, business and society.
The DHS social responsibility philosophy is underpinned by the understanding that our involvement operates on three distinct levels, all of which need to be present in order to meet the needs of targeted communities as well as providing a broad basis for involvement from the DHS Community.
These levels, broadly speaking are:
- Hand-Outs: This is where we give resources to needy communities (food, clothing, time, etc).
- Hand-Ups: This essentially is the sharing of skills and the encouragement to develop them that would leave the targeted community better equipped to face the future as it improves their prospects of success. This includes tutoring programs, IT skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, etc.
- Partnerships: This approach recognizes that all communities are rich in some resources and may be poor in others. DHS then needs to build relationships with other communities where the key would be to identify the abundance and deficits in each community and seeks to build partnerships that direct the abundance into the areas of deficit of the other. Both communities then become equal contributors and the possibility of a partnership that may lead to power-sharing and increasing understanding then becomes a possibility.
Generally programmes and projects incorporate boys from across grades to allow for a good spread of skill and maturity in order to best meet the needs of the targeted communities. Our approach is aimed at our school not just becoming involved but learning, sharing and building meaningful relationships with organisations. DHS learners are required to complete a stipulated number of community service hours per year (Grade 8 and 9 – 12 hours, Grade 10 and 11 – 24 hours).
A number of projects are identified and community service initiatives run throughout the year where boys can engage. Typical initiatives would include: environmental clean-ups, blood drives, collection of various items in need e.g. food, sporting equipment for the under privileged, academic peer support, visiting and supporting orphanages/old age homes/schools for the disabled, fund raising for NPO’s, and feeding schemes.
At DHS we strive to create an environment where social responsibility skills and opportunities for practice are created to ensure that we produce young men able to successfully navigate the world beyond the school.
“We are not just a school, we are not just learners,
we can make a difference, one community, one South Africa.”